A Calgary woman says discovering nearly every room in her house ripped apart by thieves on New Year's Eve has caused emotional damage for her and her son.
Meredith Hendrik's southwest home was broken into while the pair were away on vacation. Thieves made off with items like electronics, jewelry and medication, but Hendriks said her son is devastated after his things were rifled through.
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Hendriks, a single mother, says her son has been diagnosed with an anxiety order because of chronic health issues
"Leave the kid's stuff alone, that's just not necessary to go in and ransack a 10-year-old boy's bedroom."
She says the thieves stole his piggy bank and tossed what she calls his "tool box" — a collection of paper cut-outs developed by a psychologist to help him manage anxiety — all over the floor.
"He was like, 'mom, I don't care about the stuff. It's not about the stuff. I don't feel safe. I never feel safe and now I can't go home,'" said Hendriks.
Her son is staying with relatives while she cleans up the mess.
Hendriks has filed a police report and is now dealing with her insurance company.
Calgary police say there has been a 60 per cent increase in house break and enters from 2014 to 2015. But she said crimes like these don't speak to the personal impact on families affected by the crime.
"It's not just stuff, it's my son's kind of security," said Hendriks, "I feel worried that I'm not going to be able to get him to feel at home here again."