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Barrie family feeling ‘unsafe’ following east-end break-in

'You feel completely invaded,' said Barrie man after his east-end home was broken into and several items of jewellery stolen

A local family is feeling pretty unsettled after their east-Barrie home was burglarized Thursday morning. 

Chase Mariano told BarrieToday his Napier Street home was broken into Thursday morning, with the thief - or thieves - making off with several pieces of jewellery belonging to his wife and two young daughters, as well as his watch collection, which he estimates to be worth over $100,000.

“I went to work for a few hours in the morning and my wife went strawberry picking with our kids,” he said, adding he returned home around 11:30 a.m. 

It wasn’t until about thirty minutes later, when he went to put their new recycling bins into the garage that he noticed the cover on his car was askew.

“I thought that was pretty weird because I would never do that. I am pretty meticulous,” he said. He then noticed the door from the garage into the house had been left open, which he initially put down to simply having kids. After walking through the front door, he noticed things looked a “bit messy” but said again, he assumed it was due to the fact that his family had been rushing out the door.

As he walked a little bit further into the house, he noticed the bathroom window had been broken from the outside.

“That’s when I searched ..and noticed all of the bedrooms were torn apart. What we noticed was missing, the most important, (were) jewellery and watches. I have a watch collection and my wife had some nice diamond earrings,” he said, adding a few necklaces belonging to his daughters were also missing.

“These are very important items to us,” he said, adding along with the monetary value, they hold quite a bit of sentimental value as well. “I have always been into watches. I am self-employed and I started doing okay…I started treating myself as milestone moments. Essentially, I was buying one or two watches a year as I would set targets for myself or family-oriented and I would get myself one of those watches,” he said.

The oldest watch in the collection dates back to the 1940s, he said, which was a gift to his wife, adding they also had a few Rolex watches from the 1980s, one of which he purchased for their 10-year wedding anniversary last summer.

“Every watch I bought with a friend who is into watches, or on a vacation. There was a meaning to every one, so they’re irreplaceable from that perspective.

Mariano admitted he didn’t get any sleep Thursday night following the break-in.

“You feel completely invaded,” he said. “They slipped in within an hour and a half of us (not) being home. It’s like we were staked out and you wonder if it’s somebody you know. It’s a very eerie feeling and makes you feel super unsafe.”

Mariano said they called the police, who came to their home Thursday afternoon to take a statement as well as to collect forensic evidence - including fingerprints and blood that he said was discovered on a few closet door handles.

Barrie Police communications coordinator Peter Leon told BarrieToday this was the only daytime break and enter reported to police on Thursday.

“It appears to be isolated in nature in that respect,” he said, adding officers canvassed the area for potential witnesses. 

Anything evidence located - whether it be fingerprints or blood - would be submitted for analysis  through the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto, Leon noted.

“Although this appears isolated in nature, at any time if anyone sees persons that appear out of place or not from the immediate area…you’re encouraged to call 9-1-1 immediately,” said Leon. “If anyone has information, we’d encourage them to contact Barrie Police or they can contact Crime Stoppers.”