'You're joking, this isn't a real thing': Guelph woman has her car stolen twice just weeks apart
GUELPH – Car theft: it's not something that happens to people often, unless you're Sarah Duncan.
The Guelph woman says her car was stolen twice just a few weeks apart.
"I feel really vulnerable at this point. It's one of those things where it was the very first night that it didn't have a car parked behind it, it was the first nights that it was available at the end of the driveway," Duncan says.
"The police had mentioned that they think someone had been watching the house to see when it was available, so that's a really unnerving feeling thinking someone is standing here watching your house."
The car, a white Mazda hatchback, was taken while it was parked in her driveway.
The first time, it was taken over Thanksgiving weekend. Police found it five days later in a Cambridge parking lot, with paper licence plates taped over top of Duncan's real ones.
She says that, when she got it back, the inside of her car was in rough shape, with garbage and clothes littering the inside.
Duncan got the car cleaned at the Mazda dealership and had it back by Monday night, thinking all was well.
Three days later, she woke up on Halloween to find her car had been stolen again.
"I was like, 'You're joking, this isn't a real thing.' And it definitely was," Duncan remembers.
"I feel really violated. It's one of those things where, it happens once and you think, 'this is random,' it happens twice and then you're wondering, 'What's going on?'"
Police say that these types of crimes are on the rise in Guelph: so far this year, there have been 956 reports of cars being broken into.
That's compared to 918 all of last year.
"It has a lot to do with a whole varying amount of factors, all the way from poverty to kind of substance addictions," explains Const. Kyle Grant.
"We find a lot of people going car door to car door, seeing if they can break in and steal things in order to feed their habits."
Still, Grant says that the number of actual car thefts is actually down compared to the year before, with 126 reported so far this year compared to 203 through 2018.
Duncan hopes that police will find her car for a second time but she says she's working with her insurance company to determine the next steps in the event that they don't.
In the meantime, she is driving a rental car and has installed surveillance cameras on her house.