A White Rock man says he no longer feels safe after a gaze of raccoons punched a hole in his ceiling and ransacked his house.
Ken Rechik, who lives on Sunset Drive, was vacationing in Costa Rica when he received a call from his neighbour last week that someone – or something – had broken into his house.
He cut his trip short and came home as quickly as he could, Rechik told Peace Arch News on Monday.
“We went into the house and there was a gaping hole in the garage and tracks all over, it was raccoons,” Rechik said.
Rechik took a PAN reporter for a tour of his home Monday. There was a hole, about a foot in diameter, in the 10-foot ceiling of his garage. The raccoons, Rechik said, ripped away protective wiring and dug a hole through his wooden-shingle roof to get access to the garage attic.
There was evidence to suggest that the raccoons spent significant time in the garage: the garage door was engraved with scratch marks and items were overturned and scattered about. The garage still had the musky smell of animal.
From the garage, the raccoons apparently climbed up a wall to enter the house through an open bathroom window.
Inside, they ate mounds of sugar, smashed Rechik’s mother’s crystal, overturned tables, went through drawers, dug up and overturned nearly every plant in the house, chewed wires, ate a speaker, and defecated and soaked the carpet with urine.
It seems the only thing the raccoons didn’t do, oddly enough, was go through the pantry.
It’s not the first time Rechik has had trouble with the animals, but it’s the first time they were inside his house.
“I phoned a roofer, now I’m going to put wire right through across (the roof). Put barbed wire, make it look like a (Third-World) house, I don’t give a…. Do you want to come home to this?”
Rechik says he feels helpless in his battle against the raccoons. It’s not a policing issue, and the City of White Rock has been little help, he said. However, former councillor Bill Lawrence brought him a raccoon trap a couple years back.
“I would have rather it be a burglar because at least the cops will do something. The cops don’t do anything, the city doesn’t do anything and it’s not the first time,” Rechik said.
He said the raccoon problem has gotten worse over the last three years, and one recently killed a neighbourhood cat.
“What do I have to protect me? Nothing. What am I going to do? Throw a spoon at them? These are aggressive, they’re getting more and more aggressive.”
Rechik, noting that he’s lived at the property for 25 years and has paid more than $100,000 in property taxes, says the city should be doing more work on raccoon management.
City officials were not immediately able to comment.