Highland Grove resident Cheryl Ellis got an unpleasant surprise when she returned home from vacation; thieves had broken into her home.

The perpetrators stole tools, batteries, jewelry, $4,700 in cash and a side-by-side July 9. Ellis estimated it was worth more than $30,000. They also ripped out and took the security system which may have spotted them. “

I’m really upset that this is happening in our area,” Ellis said. “I’ve lived here all my life and now I have to start locking everything up and buying security systems. I think it’s absolutely terrible. It’s actually scary too, they came into the home in the middle of the day.”

Bancroft OPP Const. Philippe Regamey confirmed the incident. He said forensic identification services attended the scene, and the investigation is ongoing.

Ellis put out a call on Facebook July 9 asking if anyone had information. Her post was shared 214 times as of July 15. Dozens of people commented on the post and lamented what happened.

“This is awful,” Candy Donaldson said. “So sorry to hear this. Hopefully, they will be caught.”

“Break and enters are on the rise,” Ida Dewey Schultz said. “Two murders in our county in the last month. When will it change? How do we get our community back?”

It is not the only place in the area to fall victim to a robbery. The Harcourt Timber Mart was also stolen from recently. Operations manager Bruce Smith confirmed the theft but declined to comment further.

Ellis said she was glad that people responded.

“Everybody’s really great and I think the community’s pulling together trying to keep an eye out for my stuff,” she said. “I think the community’s concerned too.”

The former mayoral candidate won $1 million in Lotto 649 in May 2018. Ellis said she suspects that may have been why her new home was targeted.

“They probably realized brand new house so we had new stuff,” Ellis said. “For people who don’t want to work, they might look and think yeah, it’s a good place to target. It’s nice to win money but it also kind of makes you a bit of a target.”

Ellis said she remains hopeful her family’s belongings will be recovered. As for what she would say to the perpetrators?

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