By Andrea Arnold
A break and enter in McBride overnight on December 11th left local resident Katie Schonekess feeling invaded and shaken. The situation played itself out in a manner that left her, her sister and her brother-in-law a little confused, as it reminded them of an odd twisted version of Goldilocks and The Three Bears.
Schonekess was out of town for work when she saw a notification on her phone around 4:30am, through motion cameras, that there was a man in her house. She called her sister Gabrielle to check it out. (Shonekess was out of town working at the time.)
“My man Colton and I (who live one block away) came to investigate and check on Mango [the cat],” said Gabrielle. “Mango often stays with us when Katie is away but we have our Christmas tree up and he would likely destroy it.”
When they arrived, they let themselves in using their spare key. They found the broken window allowing access to the basement, and a man asleep in her room.
“This is when I called the police,” said Gabrielle. “We tried to keep him here for the police, but he got by us within minutes. He was not aggressive, and we were not aggressive.”
Schonekess said that Colton and Gabrielle had pounded on the bedroom door and the man had answered it, looking confused, and introduced himself to the couple.
Prior to his nap, he had made himself at home. According to security footage, he had been rummaging around for about two hours, helping himself to a variety of food. He could be seen drinking sriracha and oyster sauce out of the bottles.
Gabrielle said that after being woken up and putting on some pants, the man went around the house with Katie’s cooler bag and collected random stuff: the cat’s laser pointer, candles, work gloves, chocolate, hand cream, dental floss, toothpaste and matches. Then he left the house empty handed.
“He left his ID, which we gave to the police,” said Gabrielle. “He also left clothes in the laundry basket downstairs.”
By early morning, RCMP had located the man and had taken him in, but they would not confirm whether or not he had been charged.
Gabrielle and Colton looked around for Mango, but were unable to locate him initially. They thought he had escaped through the broken window. Almost 12 hours later, he was found behind the dryer in the basement.
Schonekess returned home late afternoon on the 12th, and had to sort through the chaos.
“It was very much a weird freak incident,” she said.
The trio were told that the individual had in fact been apprehended. He was believed to have escaped from a mental ward in Prince George, stolen a vehicle, run it out of gas and hitchhiked into McBride. The RCMP were unable to confirm or comment on these details as it is an ongoing investigation.