As if the destruction caused by Saturday morning’s fire wasn’t enough for the residents of the Bristol Apartments on Franklyn Road in Rutland, now there are reports that some residents have had their personal items go missing.
Jeremy Oldendorf lived in one of the 16 suites that was decimated in the blaze, and along with his roommate, were finally allowed back into his suite for five minutes on Thursday.
He immediately went to his dresser drawer to retrieve a rare ring, only to find it gone.
“The first thing I went after was my grandfather’s WWII ring because it’s a family heirloom and priceless to me,” he says.
“Someone definitely searched for it.”
While not believing he had simply misplaced it, Oldendorf slowly began to look around his room and quickly noticed that a tin containing money was also not where he left it. His roommate then found it on his computer desk, minus the cash.
Upon further investigation, the two discovered that a coin collection, jewelry and liquor from the fridge had also been taken.
“What pisses me off so much is our properties safety was ensured to us by the fire department and the police that morning after this all started,” says Oldendorf.
After a fire like this takes place, a security company will be brought in to watch over the scene and ensure that thefts like this don’t happen. In this case, it was All-Rite Security.
Owner Mike Parenteau chose his words carefully when Castanet News contacted him about Oldendorf’s claims of theft.
“What may have gone on there is further reaching than the security. You might say it’s beyond our role.”
When asked to elaborate, Parenteau said their role in this situation was to “escort people to their rooms and back, given whatever latitude that the insurance companies and the adjusters and the restoration people require of us at that point.”
“We don’t patrol the hallways or anything like that. We make sure when the building is locked that we are patrolling the outside so nobody’s getting in. And during the time things are going on, we’re taking our order directly from the people with the power,” he explained, adding that there have been no breaches at night, since his company has been on the scene.
Steve Shoranick works in a lead capacity for the company that manages the Bristol Apartments. He says they got the security team there quickly and anyone going in or out of the buildings had to sign in with a security member.
In addition to police and fire, Shoranick says the building’s insurance company hired Stutters Disaster Kleenup, but everyone has the same clearance.
“Absolutely no one allowed past the site and even when the firemen were still here we got the security right away,” he says.
“No one is even allowed unless they sign and show identification and sign that they’re going in.”
According to Shoranick, he has not been directly contacted about any thefts that may have occurred at the building following the fire, but admits he heard someone complaining on Thursday, but that “my manager hasn’t mentioned anything to me.”
Without pointing fingers, Oldendorf does not feel the security is as tight as it should be and says the front door to his suite was ajar when he arrived.
“(The manager) told me the building’s secure, but when we went up to do our five minutes, our front door was wide open because they had to run some power cord into our unit. Anybody could walk in and out anytime they pleased, and clearly people were,” he notes.
“I feel like somebody needs to answer for this, but nobody’s really stepping up. It’s morality too. What kind of person – when someone’s down like that and lost their home – what kind of person goes in and steals from you? It’s ridiculous that you have people like that in this town.”
Oldendorf has also heard that items have been stolen from other units while everyone was evacuated.
He says he has filed a report with the RCMP.
If you returned home to the Bristol Apartments and found items missing, please contact us at news @castanet.net