Commissionaire urges P.A. to tackle break-in problem

Laurent Fournier's security cameras show two people stealing tools from his garage. (Laurent Fournier/Submitted)

Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald

“Let’s give the thieves more to worry about than the homes have to worry about.”

Commissionaire Laurent Fournier is wanting more resources to reduce break-ins after he came home to one last week.

Thieves had gone in to both his truck and garage while he was gone for coffee, depriving him of many tools, an air compressor and some food—a list of over 30 items he later handed to the police.

His security cameras captured the theft in his garage.

Fournier installed them about a year ago after police investigated a previous break-in and couldn’t reach any conclusions.

“They kept telling us we need the evidence,” he said. “That’s when my wife and I decided ‘Okay, we’re gonna get a security camera system. They want pictures, we’ll have pictures.”

Fournier had unlocked his truck to go for coffee at about 6 a.m. last Monday.

“It was nice out and I thought ‘I’m gonna walk.’ What I did not do is re-lock the door of the truck, so they had access,” he explained.

With his wife still sleeping inside, Fournier guessed the two thieves found his garage door opener.

At about 6:30 a.m., security camera footage shows two people in hoodies walking in with flashlights.

With Fournier also being a woodworker, they stole many valuable tools to him like an angle grinder, sanders and saws.

One went into his freezer and took a turkey and some hamburgers.

There was no damage to the property and nobody was hurt, which he described as a blessing: “In the long run, they took things.”

“I do want to thank the police force for how quickly they responded. When we called them, they were here within 20 minutes to a half an hour,” he said, although it was too late to catch the thieves.

On top of encouraging others in Prince Albert to install security cameras for proof, Fournier wants more resources from the police department and insurance companies.

“After this happened, you start talking to people and it doesn’t matter what part of town you’re talking to, they’re all experiencing this,” said Fournier, who lives in the midtown area.

“Let’s get together with SGI…and start giving incentives to people to put security systems in their house and video systems in their house,” he said.

Additionally, Fournier wants more of an officer presence, which he said may not have to be police. It could be a security or bylaw officer.

“Let’s make it as hard as possible, and I do mean as hard as possible, for thieves to start their crime,” said Fournier. “Let’s give the thieves more to worry about than the homes have to worry about.”

He emphasized this isn’t possible without an increase in the police budget: “There are answers, but I don’t think you’re going to find the answers by looking at how you can do it with less (money).”

The opposite—cuts to their budget—was rejected in city council in September.

Coun. Dennis Nowoselsky’s motion would have seen the approximate $16 million budget reduced by 10 per cent in 2019 and an extra five per cent in 2020.

It was defeated by a 5-3 margin.