Eleanor Hickey felt sick to her stomach when she found her storage shed’s door pried open just two days ago.
That’s because every single expensive tool Hickey owned and needs for her job as a self-employed landscaper had been stolen.
“I was just in shock,” said the Nanaimo resident. “Just violated and devastated.”
“It’s a horrible feeling.”
The incident happened on Kennedy Street in Nanaimo sometime late Jan. 1 or early Jan. 2.
Thieves made away with all of the Hickey’s Stihl and Echo weed eaters, hedge trimmers, and brush cutters valued at over $2,000.
“It took a long time to save up to actually get stuff that was decent,” she said.
In fact, every tool requiring fuel that Hickey couldn’t store safely inside her home was in the backyard shed and stolen — leaving the single mother of a special needs son at a complete loss.
Hickey doesn’t have insurance and the theft has left her feeling defeated less than five days into the New Year.
“It was my livelihood, it was all in there,” she said “I can’t do my job now until this stuff is replaced.”
Hickey’s home wasn’t the only home hit.
Const. Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson with the Nanaimo RCMP, said there was another theft nearby around the same time.
“A shed was broken into and lots of lawn equipment was taken,” O’Brien said.
According to the Nanaimo RCMP, a total of 14 thefts took place in the city on the night of Hickey’s break-in. All of the stolen items are quickly sold on the street for drugs or cash, which is often used to buy drugs.
Thefts have substantially risen throughout the last year and a lot of it can always be related back to the drug market,” explained O’Brien.
For Hickey, the theft isn’t a number. She says the tools are everything she needs to support herself and her son and that the person or persons responsible took her livelihood away.
“I hope if someone has it or sees it, that they’ll return it back to me,” she said.