Eight months after his childhood home was sold, Dave Pasin said his family still got the call about break-ins at the Burnaby home.
“People were stealing the copper and the wire, anything of value,” Pasin said.
His mother sold the property on Government Road last August for $2.25 million. Since then, the home has remained vacant and the only information on the title is the name Liangqi Jia and an address in Chengdu, China.
Neighbours say they didn’t know who else to call, after alleging police allowed someone to leave the property with a steel side gate taken from the house.
“The police were there, they had the person in the act of stealing the gate,” said neighbour Kirsten Hallam. “They let them leave with the gate.”
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After several complaints, Pasin says the City of Burnaby eventually sent a crew to board up the gate entrance over concerns that someone might access the backyard swimming pool. The property is right next to a public park and community centre.
Hallam says vacant homes are a target for thieves that put other properties in the community at risk.
“Where are they going to go for their copper next?” she asked.
Requests for comment from Burnaby RCMP were not returned. The City of Burnaby has turned off water to the property and will send an inspector to the home on Thursday. Any action needed can be charged back to the owner through property tax.
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As for the owners, they were contacted by the real estate agent who helped them buy the house.
“Of course, they were surprised,” said Ramadany Rompas, who said the owners had no idea about the alleged thefts.
Rompas adds that the owners had not contracted anybody to take care of the property, but at one point had looked into it. She said the owner has given her authority to hire someone and will also drain the swimming pool.
The owners of the home are expected to visit their property sometime in May.
“There’s a sense of responsibility when you buy a home,” said Pasin.