‘It’s earth shattering’: Calgary couple finds home ransacked by thieves posing as city workers

The Russells say their home was broken into last Wednesday when they were not home by a man and a woman, posing as City of Calgary employees.

Mandy Russell says the pair had been canvassing her neighbourhood of Royal Oak, around 1:45 p.m. April 6, knocking on doors and telling residents they were city employees doing “flood mitigation” work.

That’s when they found the Russells unoccupied home, breaking in through a basement window.

“My dad and my husband were here first and came in and were looking around the house,” said Russell.

“Some designer handbags, all my jewelry, cash. We had recently traveled and we’ve just returned from Mexico, so we had passports and money that were still in a purse in my closet, I hadn’t put it back in the safe yet. This cupboard filled with gift cards from Christmas and my daughter’s birthday.”

Russell says the assailants have already stolen more than $3,000 from her bank account and tried to run up $10,000 in charges on her credit cards. She says all her banking passwords have since been changed, but the pair have still managed steal more money from her.

“I got everything put on hold and frozen with updated information so they wouldn’t be able to get back in, they did,” said Russell.

“So now the entirety of our accounts are frozen while the police are investigating the situation.”

Russell adds that once access was gained to the home, all of the thieves activities were caught on surveillance video. The suspects then opened the garage door and unloaded two hot water tanks. Russell says neighbours didn’t suspect a thing.

The suspects were gone within 10 minutes.

“It is earth-shattering and life-destroying,” said Russell, adding how much the situation has affected her family.

“We are trying to plan, how we have that conversation with a seven-year-old who doesn’t fully understand that this happened in a place that she feels safe. Your home is your safety net and your place that you come to to relax and feel secure and spend time with the people that you love the most.”

Calgary Police Service says its confident it will be able to catch the culprits.

Officers say neighbours have provided detailed descriptions of the suspects and their vehicle. The security footage of the incident will also help with the investigation.

They believe this is the only reported break-in so far.

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