Neighbours foil break-in

Carlie De Castro credits sharp-eyed and big-hearted neighbours for helping police nab burglars who hit her empty home Saturday night.
Carlie and husband Rocky De Castro had gone out to the movies when thieves broke in through their back door.
They ransacked her bedroom and stole jewelry, CDs and DVDs.
They would have carried away more but neighbours caught the culprits in the act.
A neighbour’s son, 12-year-old Parker Vanderzwan, and his friend Jason MacIssac were playing outside about 9 p.m. when they saw two people go to the front of De Castro’s Eastview house, ring the bell, and then go around to the back.
The youngster told his father Rick Vanderzwan what he had seen and the father went over to the house to investigate. Listening by the side of the house, Vanderzwan said he could hear the thieves at work.
At first he thought it might be a prank, but quickly realized someone was up to no good.
He grabbed a broom and went to the back just as the thieves came running out of the back door of the house.
“I yelled at them and they both basically went off the deck and into the snow.”
One scaled a fence, and he managed to grab the backpack off the second one as he clambered over the fence. They dropped a rifle still locked in its case on the deck in their rush to flee.
Police, using a dog, later arrested two suspects.
De Castro is deeply grateful to her neighbour.
“It’s amazing. Can you imagine if you didn’t have neighbours like that?
“What would have happened if the neighbour hadn’t been there?”
De Castro said she and husband Rocky plan to take their neighbours out for dinner.
Some of their belongings were recovered but her prized collection of about 30 DVDs has not turned up.
Jewelry, including some sentimental wedding pieces, is still missing.
Their bedroom was ransacked but little else in the house was upset, which she counts as lucky.
The incident has really shaken her up, she said.
“I haven’t slept since. I sleep with the light on. I’m very terrified.”
Her seven-year-old daughter has also been shaken by the incident. “She’s pretty scared.
An alarm system has been installed in the home.
Vanderzwan gives credit to his son. “My son’s a hero. He’s the one who noticed.”
Police said recently they were taking a hard look at residential burglaries after January statistics showed a sharp jump in the number of residential break and enters. There were 55 last month, compared with 38 for the same month a year ago. In January 2013, there were 23. February statistics are not yet available.
Two people, including a 17-year-old who can’t be named, have been charged in relation to the De Castro break-in. David Charles Hartle, 21, of York, has been charged with possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer.