Break-in plan comes crashing down on Lethbridge burglars
Lethbridge police inspect the roof of Able Family Dentistry on Fifth Street S. after three people broke into the office through the ventilation system. (Courtesy Barry Ewing)
LETHBRIDGE -- Lethbridge police are investigating a bizarre break-in at a downtown Lethbridge dental office, where three people came crashing through the ceiling while trying to get in through the rooftop ventilation system.
"It sounds like something from a movie," said dental assistant Teagan Nixon. "When I had to call the police this morning it was like, I’m not making this up, I swear. But this is just crazy, that there are people climbing through the air condition units and falling through the roof."
Nixon works at Able Family Dentistry on Fifth Street S. A spokesperson for the company that owns the building said the alarm went off at around 2 a.m. Tuesday.
When they checked the surveillance video, they discovered three people had climbed onto the roof, and managed to pry their way into one of the ventilation units.
"We saw video of them getting on top of the building, and we saw them also leaving the building."
It all happened within a space of about 15 minutes. It appears they managed to shimmy through the ventilation system to where the ceiling collapsed.
Nixon said the damage included broken glass on a picture that fell from the wall, and the door to the room doesn’t shut properly anymore.
"We have a few footprints on the wall here, a little bit of blood," Nixon said.
When the alarm went off, the three people ran out through an emergency exit. According to staff, they left behind a coat and a hat.
Owners say incident disconcerting
News of the break-in spread quickly to other businesses on the street.
"It’s not good for anyone when we are seeing crime escalate in the city," said Mark Vella with East Meets West Health Group. The business recently moved to a location across the street from Able Family Dentistry.
Vella said they brought in some professionals Tuesday to check the ventilation system on their roof.
"We're making sure that we're being safe and making sure our building is secure. We certainly don't welcome any break-ins since we’re new to downtown."
The owners of the dental building say the incident is disconcerting.
"Obviously we care about our patients and the safety of our staff, which is the most important thing, so we’ll see what action needs to be taken to make sure this is a one off, and never again kind of situation."
The police investigation continues. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Lethbridge Police Service.