One of the women whose house was broken into poses for a photo in Whitehorse on Sept. 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

‘Maybe Whitehorse isn’t as safe as you think’: resident after break-in

Two residents allege an intruder entered a Riverdale house, masturbated and stole undergarments

A woman whose undergarments were stolen when her Riverdale house was broken into last month is calling out the RCMP for not doing enough to inform her and others.

The News agreed to shield her identity, as there are privacy and safety concerns.

Her former roommate, also unidentified, said someone rummaged through her underwear, watched porn and masturbated.

“To my knowledge a public service announcement has not gone out,” the woman said. “Women in 2018 are part of secret Facebook groups and are part of this underground network of knowledge-sharing because the institutions that are responsible for our public safety are not doing their jobs. I hope I’m not one in a series of these break-and-enters of a very sexualized nature.

“It’s really scary that this is happening in our community.”

The woman said she came home from a vacation to find, on Sept. 11, every piece of lingerie was stolen from her drawers.

“I looked through the house, all through the house, and nothing else was taken and all of my jewelry on the dressers was left. I had $40 in cash also sitting on the dresser that was left,” said the woman, who continues to live at the house. “There was no property damage.”

She said she didn’t receive much, if any, empathy from the RCMP.

The News reached out to the RCMP repeatedly over four days for comment on the case, but it did not respond in time for publication.

The woman said nothing like this has happened before.

“I’ve never had something so specific, so insidious,” she said.

“My initial overwhelming (reaction) is fear. What does this mean? This is clearly very sexual in nature. It’s such a gendered thing. I can’t even come to my actual room in my home and be safe from violence there. It follows,” the roommate said, noting that she hopes the break-in wasn’t targeted.

The woman said she had received a tip, not from the police, that the incident might be connected to a facility for people with disabilities.

Michelle Boleen, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Services, said the department is “aware of two incidents that occurred by an individual living at one of our contracted homes for persons with disabilities.”

However Boleen said she could not speak about specifics of the incidents, citing privacy concerns.

She said the department has more than one contracted home.

“When any incident occurs, we always review whether our services and supports are adequate to support the client,” Boleen said.

It is unclear whether a police investigation has begun or if any charges have been laid. The facility is not being identified.

The woman’s former roommate said she came home on Sept. 9 to find her room different from how she left it.

She first found a long search history of different pornography sites on her computer.

“I thought that was extremely weird, because no one was home,” the former roommate said. “I thought maybe it was a virus.”

She then looked across the bedroom, at her bed, “where there was a bra and two pairs of underwear.”

It dawned on her that someone had been in her room, she said, masturbating.

Sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., a timeframe in which she wasn’t home, is when the incident occurred, she said.

She had been living in the home for about a week.

“It was a new situation, a new house.”

The intruder may have entered the house via the backdoor, which could have been unlocked, she said. There was also a hidden key, she added.

She left the house that night, on Sept. 9, going through the stages of moving out over the next couple of days, she said.

“I immediately decided I didn’t want to live there because I was really creeped out,” she said.

On Sept. 10, she said she called the RCMP.

None of her belongings were stolen, the woman said.

“I feel like it was extremely weird and creepy. I’m just glad I’m not there anymore, in that house. Maybe Whitehorse isn’t as safe as you think,” she said.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

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