A Surrey realtor and homeowner are warning other prospective sellers to be cautious following a brazen theft during an open house.
Curtis Hellofs decided to leave his surveillance camera on inside his home office so he could track how many people came to their first open house. Instead, he ended up recording a theft.
“She definitely knew what she was doing,” Hellofs said. “You can see her taking something out and putting it in her bag and turns out it was a bluetooth speaker.”
Hellofs said his wife’s perfume was also missing from their bedroom along with a pouch containing his son’s baby teeth.
READ MORE: Realtor raises safety concerns after sexual assault in Surrey
“I wouldn’t have even noticed that this had happened probably for a couple of weeks if I didn’t have that video,” he said.
The open house attracted about 60 people. Given Metro Vancouver’s hot housing market, Hellof’s realtor, Tammy Evans, said the traffic is typical.
“I try to introduce myself to everybody, make sure I know whether they’ve come with a realtor or not,” Evans said. “Everything I can do to make sure that I know who’s going through the house.”
In this case, Evans said she saw the woman enter the home, but was busy with another prospective buyer. She said the woman didn’t look suspicious.
“In this case, somebody that looked very innocuous came through — looked like she’d just come back from a shopping trip or a yoga class and she managed to get her hands on several things,” Evans said.
This isn’t the first time an open house has been a target. During another open house in Surrey in April, a female real estate agent said she was assaulted.
Evans described the woman as Caucasian, about 5’6″ tall with blonde hair. She was wearing a blue shirt and jeans and had a shoulder bag.
Hellofs and Evans hope their story serves as a wake-up call for anyone selling their home — hiding your valuables during an open house might not be enough.
“It’s possible that things are happening and people aren’t realizing that something’s been lifted,” Evans said. “I’m going to be watching carefully for people that I wouldn’t normally be alarmed by. I’m going to be scrutinizing everybody.”
Veteran receiver Clarence Denmark won’t be continuing his CFL career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Denmark was among Saskatchewan’s 20 final cuts Sunday as CFL teams reduced their rosters to the league-mandated 46-man active roster.
Denmark joined the Riders this off-season as a free agent after being released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
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“Tough biz we deal with but this gives me the chance to slide to the peg to see my lil man on Father’s Day,” Denmark tweeted. “See the good in everything #life.”
Tough biz we deal with but this gives me the chance to slide to the peg to see my lil man on Father’s Day. See the good in everything #life
— Clarence Denmark (@OnAnotherOne) June 19, 2016
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Denmark had 306 career catches for 4,165 yards and 16 TDs in 88 regular-season appearances with Winnipeg. He was a West Division all-star in 2014 after amassing 1,080 receiving yards.
The Riders also released quarterback Brett Smith, who completed 142-of-224 passes for 1,822 yards with 15 TDs against nine interceptions as a rookie last season. Defensive linemen Eric Norwood and Dylan Ainsworth, quarterback Phillip Sims and offensive lineman Jarriel King and Matt Vonk went on the six-game injured list.
Saskatchewan also acquired international defensive back Brandon McDonald from the Calgary Stampeders for a negotiation list player. The five-foot-11, 185-pound McDonald enters his third CFL season after splitting the previous two with Ottawa and the Stamps.
The defending Grey Cup-champion Edmonton Eskimos released nine players, including veteran Canadian safety Cauchy Muamba. The six-year veteran spent the last two seasons in Alberta after playing for the B.C. Lions and Winnipeg.
Also released by Edmonton was former Toronto Argonauts receiver Natey Adjei.
Canadian linebacker Herve Tonye-Tonye and American defensive back Shane Herbert were among 16 players released by Toronto. The Argos also added running back Chad Kackert, the MVP of the 2012 Grey Cup, to their practice roster after releasing the veteran last week.
As the Vancouver School Board struggles to cut its operating costs, one of the city’s historic buildings will close.
The yellow wood-frame school at Carleton Elementary on Kingsway will shut down this summer and remain locked for 2016-17 school year. Students will be transferred to the brick building next door.
“It’s money and that’s why they’re doing it, and it’s a huge tragedy for our neighbourhood,” Vancouver-Kingsway NDP MLA Adrian Dix said.
“The space, the people, the teachers, the friendships, you can’t put a price on that,” parent Ann Wong said.
Wong’s two children attended Carleton and she fought to save the school once before. When the VSB faced an $18-million shortfall in 2010, trustees looked at the possibility of closing Carleton. Parents rallied, and the school remained opened.
“I can’t just believe that six years later we’re having to go through this exact same thing again,” Wong said.
Now, the VSB is facing pressure from the province to ensure schools are 95 per cent full. It’s part of the criteria the district must meet in order to receive provincial funding for seismic upgrades. Carleton only has roughly 300 students and is less than three-quarters full.
But school supporters say the province chose the historic building as a backdrop for its 2005 announcement of funding for a wide seismic mitigation program. Yet, more than a decade later Carleton remains unchanged.
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“It’s really disheartening when you hear someone say we promise to do ‘X’ but nothing happens….at this point, maybe if I hold my breath, maybe my grandchildren will see it,” Wong said.
Tomorrow, the Vancouver School Board will release a list of schools that could face closure. Trustees say they may need to shutter up to 21 schools over the next 14 years.
Nobody from the VSB would say whether Carleton is on that list.
Premier Christy Clark toured flood-ravaged parts of the Peace Region Sunday afternoon, saying more has to be done to prepare for extreme weather events.
“When I was up in the Peace two months ago, the place was on fire,” she said. “And now it’s underwater. Really, we have to, across Canada, get used to the fact that weather events are getting more extreme. Climate change is having a big impact, so we have to adapt.”
On Sunday, Clark said the province is spending $65 million this year for flood mitigation and urged the federal government to do more.
Dawson Creek is in recovery mode as roads were ripped apart and the CN Rail line through town was washed out.
Clark said they will explore the possibility of building bridges to replace culvert systems that were damaged by the flood.
[email protected] said a bridge replacing the culvert for 8th street is a long-term possibility. pic.twitter长沙桑拿/RpZzwkb0gP
— Justin McElroy (@j_mcelroy) June 19, 2016
In Moberly Lake, northwest of town, Reg Whiten is stranded on his own property after raging floodwaters tore up the bridge he uses to get to his home.
“I had a bridge here, a beautiful steel bridge,” he said. “It didn’t last.”
The Moberly River remains under a flood warning today.
In other areas of Northeastern B.C., alerts have been downgraded to high stream flow advisories. People affected by the flooding will be able to learn about possible financial support at community meetings in Dawson Creek Monday and Chetwynd on Tuesday.
– With files from Justin McElroy and Kristen Robinson
It would have been their first Father’s Day together as a family – but instead, Kiranbir Bhangu is spending it as a widow in the company of her six-year-old son, Royce.
Royce’s father, Karanpal Bhangu, was murdered while working the night shift at a Mill Woods Mac’s store in December 2015.
Three masked men barged into the store in the wee hours of the morning in an armed robbery. Bhangu activated the emergency alert, but he was shot in the stomach and died within minutes.
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“According to the medical examiner, that’s all he had, was three minutes after he got the bullet. It was too late,” said Kiranbir.
Today marks exactly 6 months since the Mac’s store murders in Edmonton. Kiran says she still can’t move forward #yeg pic.twitter长沙桑拿/BlY3tHjBq5
— Sarah Kraus Global (@SarahNKraus) June 18, 2016
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The couple met at a wedding in India. Soon after Royce was born, Kiranbir moved to Canada to go to school and become a teacher.
“You wanted to have a better future for your children,” she said.
“Part of that is also safety. You feel like these countries are safer.”
Karanpal dreamed of also leaving India for better opportunities in Canada. But it would be five years and seven months before he and Royce would reunite with Kiranbir in Edmonton.
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When Karanpal arrived in Edmonton in August 2015, he fell in love with the Canadian winter.
“He loved the snow,” his wife recalled. “The day this thing happened, he got out of the house and he’s calling me from the parking lot. I’m thinking he forgot something. So I’m like, ‘What now Karan?” and he goes ‘It’s snowing outside! Go get Royce and enjoy the snow.’”
This is Karan and his family. This Fathers Day would have been their first together in Canada, but now Karan is gone pic.twitter长沙桑拿/pFAwf3FX9h
— Sarah Kraus Global (@SarahNKraus) June 18, 2016
In the time leading up to his death, the family was very active.
“I don’t remember any weekend or any time that we had together, since they came – in those four months – that we spent at home. We were always out in the parks, enjoying.”
Karanpal would have turned 36 on Monday, June 13. Holidays and anniversaries that Kiranbir used to look forward to are now difficult to endure.
From the outset, she was nervous about her husband working overnights. Back in India, he held a Masters in public administration and a bachelors degree in information technology.
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“His employer was so impressed with him, the way he would work – being so responsible and stuff. He’d say, ‘You should be the manager, not a night shift employee’ and he would say, ‘It’s okay, I’m not going to work here for long – just a couple months. I’ll find something else.’”
He told his wife he felt safe at work – even though there was one time where a man came in bleeding from his head and threatening to kill him. Karanpal wasn’t initially forthcoming in sharing that story with his wife.
“I was like, ‘Why wouldn’t you tell me that?’ And Karan was like, ‘You wouldn’t allow me to go to work the next day. I knew you wouldn’t let me go to work.’”
In December Karanpal was killed in the same store.
“All of a sudden it’s all been taken away,” said Bhangu, her eyes welling with tears.
“He was a son, he was a brother, he was my husband. He was a father, who my child will be missing this Father’s Day.”
Tears stream down Kiranbir’s face as she thinks of her son.
“Now he will tell me he misses dad. He misses dad when he goes to the park.”
Kiranbir said she still has unanswered questions, six months after her husband’s death.
“All of this just doesn’t make sense to me. I still cannot wrap my head around it. How could this happen to me? I don’t know if I have accepted it or not. I’m still working on it.”
But as the pair grieves, Kiranbir pulls strength from her family and friends.
“The prayers, the thoughts they did for me, I felt that. Otherwise there was no other way I could have survived it.”
For six young girls, Sunday wasn’t just Father’s Day —; it was competition day.
The three swam, biked and raced their way across the finish line in the Kids of Steel Triathlon, most of the girls competing for the first time.
“It’s not easy, it’s challenging, which makes it fun,” said 11-year-old competitor Laurenne Trottier.
“It’s an accomplishment.”
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“It was actually pretty cool because it’s the first triathlon I’ve ever done, but it was pretty tiring,” said Grade 4 competitor Riley Pierce.
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Joel Pedersen, a Saskatoon police officer and owner of Fitness 2J2, has been training the group for two months.
“I know the importance of sports, recreation and how it all combines into health and wellness,” Pedersen said.
“When I first started, I didn’t think that I’d be able to do it, but as I trained it seemed easier and easier,” said competitor Layla Stone, 11.
Beyond competing in a new sport, Pedersen has taught the girls perseverance.
“To keep going and even when it gets hard, just keep going and don’t give up,” said Neave-Marie Pedersen.
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Tara Desroches is a teacher at St. Mary’s and has seen the positive psychological transformation the program has made on her students.
“They realize they can do it. They realize with enough determination and practice they’re capable of performing in a triathlon. Something they weren’t able to do at the beginning of the year. It builds confidence,” Desroches said.
“I’m so proud of them. They accomplished more than they thought they could and at the end of the day they got to meet new kids and learned a new sport they can do forever,” Pedersen explained.
Despite a few bumps and bruises, all of the girls say they’re going to continue training for triathlons. Proving the experience not only kept them active, but it showed them they’re capable of overcoming life’s obstacles if they put their minds to it.
Organizers of the Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival are renewing their call to limit boat traffic in False Creek after an uninvited entry crashed the competition this weekend.
A large charter vessel ran right into the middle of the course during a 2,000-metre race on Saturday.
“Unfortunately during our final race of the day, the women’s Guts & Glory, a local charter operator, chose to power across the course even when given the opportunity to get out of the way of our athletes,” Dragon Boat BC wrote on their Facebook page.
Fortunately no one was injured.
Festival organizers filed a police complaint against the charter operator.
“We think that his actions were reckless,” Anita Webster of the Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival said.
“On the waterways…the right of way goes to the non-motorized vessel. He was in the thick of a lot of non-motorized vessels and not obeying the rules of the road.”
Charter captain Andre Filimonov agreed that dragon boats have the right of way, but said the way the festival has taken over the channel also breaks the rules.
“All lanes are blocked,” he said.
“We’re just looking for a safe window to pass through.”
Dragon boaters recently launched a petition to ban moorage in the eastern part of False Creek in order to keep a small area safe for regattas and other non-motorized water sports.
Some dragon boat fans vented their frustrations online, posting negative reviews on the Yelp page for Golden Eagle Boat Charters, the owners of the boat involved in Saturday’s mishap.
A second Dragon Boat BC Facebook post said the Vancouver Police Department is looking for witnesses who were on the water at the time of the incident.