Culprit in Ridgeville described as middle-aged female walking small black dog
BY VOICE STAFF
Marie Makkreel extends a message of caution to Ridgeville residents after her car was a target of theft.
On Christmas day, Makkreel was visiting her son, Michael, in the 300 block of Canboro Road when the incident happened. She took Christmas gifts into the house for the family and because she was carrying many packages, Makkreel did not initially lock her car.
Since she was going to her daughter’s house later on in the afternoon, some Christmas gifts were left in the car. She also left her purse in the car, however, she had covered it with a pillow.
“Some time later, I handed my car keys to my grandson and asked him to go outside and lock it for me,” she said.
“When he came back in, he said, ‘Grandma, you left the door open a little bit.’ Because my arms were full, I didn’t think much of it and thought yes, it could have been possible. I just accepted it and he had locked the car at that point.”
Makkreel later thought about the opened door and said the intruder didn’t completely shut the door because the sound may have alerted them, especially since there are windows along the side of the driveway where the car was parked.
After visiting her son, she went to her daughter’s place, then arrived arriving home at her Foss Road apartment at about 5:30 pm. It was only then Makkreel realized her purse was missing as the pillow that was on top seemed to be in its original positioning.
“I know I didn’t take it into my son’s place, but you are always unsure of yourself,” she said. “I called both my son and daughter, they looked around and couldn’t find it.”
By that point, Makkreel knew something had happened. Her purse had everything in it including her wallet, cellphone and extra set of keys for her car.
“So I certainly had a bad night Christmas night,” she said. “I couldn’t sleep [especially] thinking somebody’s going to come and steal my car.”
Makkreel did take preventive action by putting an anti-theft device on the steering wheel, finding the key for which was “a miracle,” as it was something she and her husband purchased many years ago for their travels.
It was only then that she had a bit of rest.
On Boxing Day, Makkreel’s son was visited by his neighbour, Tim McAvoy, from across the street, who returned some of the items, including the purse, which were stolen from the car.
McAvoy said his daughter, Christine, who was visiting from Vancouver, found the items when she was walking the family dog along their driveway earlier that day. She saw the items strewn in the bushes and brought them into the house.
Upon closer investigation, they recognized the name on the items and immediately returned them to Makkreel’s son.
“Our road is long, paved and clearly a driveway, especially since our house is situated a good 1,200 feet away from the Canboro Road,” said McAvoy.
On Christmas day, the McAvoys did see an unfamiliar woman with a little black dog while they were having brunch.
“At the time, we thought she had just lost her way, then we saw her immediately head into the bushes once the driveway alarm went off. Plus, our dog was barking furiously.”
Makkreel wasn’t the only target. Her grandson’s girlfriend had a $300 gift card stolen from her car during a Boxing Day visit.
When both incidents were reported to Niagara Regional Police, the responding officers stated another car on a street near a cluster of Ridgeville businesses was also targeted.
Makkreel’s cellphone was used to make a phone call by the culprit on Christmas night and upon phoning her provider, they were able to obtain numbers to give to the police to include in the report. Makkreel had cancelled her credit cards in time so they could not be compromised.
“I didn’t want to take any chances.”
Makkreel is happy she received a her purse and majority of its contents back, especially her spare set of car keys and government identification cards.
Due to the proximity of where the cars were parked from the sidewalk, Makkreel advises all residents and those visiting area businesses to lock their vehicles and secure valuables, even if it’s just for a short time and no matter the proximity to a house or public walkway.
The culprit is described as having white hair, in her mid-50s and walking an older, small black dog.