Andrea Rondeau column: There are good people in Cowichan, along with the bad

The generosity of the people and businesses in the Cowichan Valley never ceases to warm my heart.

Sometimes it seems like people will steal anything that isn’t nailed down — and some things that are (remember baby bear from the Chemainus ice cream shop?).

More and more in neighbourhoods across the Cowichan Valley you can’t leave anything out after you’ve finished gardening, or it won’t be there the next time you look. And it doesn’t stop there. Thieves aren’t just snatching items that have been left lying around. Outbuildings like sheds and garages are magnets for the sticky fingered crew.

I’ve even had the terrible experience of having someone come in through my back gate and steal vegetables and flowers from my garden — seriously, they took onions, carrots, and a tiger lily, complete with bulb attached, and more. Let me tell you, after you’ve planted and nurtured something to maturity it is particularly hard to swallow someone swooping in and taking the result of all your hard work and love. It makes me sad every time I see the lock I now have on the back gate.

And that’s to say nothing of the more dedicated thieves who snatch big-ticket items like boats, vehicles, boat trailers and more.

People need to start having more respect for other people’s things. I don’t want to live in a community filled with paranoia and security cameras capturing every square inch of space. Locks on every gate and every door. Talk about being put in a prison while the ne’er-do-wells romp free. But I digress.

The volunteer gardeners at Cairnsmore recently were the target of opportunistic thieves. Oh, they had to hop a fence and pry off a lock on a shed before they could get away with their bounty of tools (that won’t work anyway, because the batteries weren’t there), but for the most part I doubt these were cunning planners. They’re not going to get rich off their haul, that’s for sure. They’ve just caused a great deal of inconvenience and exasperation for pennies, if that.

There’s a happy ending to this story, however. After seeing the Citizen’s article about the theft, a gentleman showed up at Cairnsmore long-term care facility and cut a cheque for $600 so the gardeners can replace what was stolen. I always hope something like that will happen when we do this kind of story. The generosity of the people and businesses in the Cowichan Valley never ceases to warm my heart.

It’s a reminder that there are a lot of great people in Cowichan, along with those who take what doesn’t belong to them. They are the ones who deserve the spotlight.


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