The Carlington Summit

A bogus telephone survey may have been connected to a rash of break-ins on Celebration, Central Park Drive and Festive Private in January.

Two residents who keep in touch through Central Park's electronic mailing list raised suspicions about phone calls from a person claiming to be a telephone survey-taker who asked only a few feeble questions like “What breakfast cereal do you eat?” Another resident chimed in to say that she had been bothered by hang-up calls.

When they heard that at least five homes had been broken into within a short time, all by having the doors kicked in, the neighbours put two and two together and concluded someone had probably been checking to see what times of day they were home.

“I've turned my home into Fort Knox,” wrote one. “Anyone know about getting Neighbourhood Watch started?” asked another.

Central Park Community Group secretary Anders Nordstrom said that the community association's executive would be discussing neighbourhood security at its February 10 meeting.

Peculiar happenings have not been confined to Central Park. Several streets in the veterans' area were visited in the fall by a very enterprising door-to-door caller.

This young man, whose accent roamed charmingly from East London to Texas to Alabama (but never quite as far as Sydney), claimed to be an Australian living in Kanata. He just needed taxi fare to his brother's place. There were always reasons why he couldn't take the bus (his bicycle, his dog) or phone anyone to come get him. Close observers wondered how he could have cycled from Kanata to Carlington on a bike that was missing a pedal. The dog was also looking surprisingly chipper for a survivor of a 20-kilometre run.

Although he aroused enough suspicions on two streets that he got a close watch till he left the area, and a police escort away from another street, neighbours did wonder if anyone else had a visit with more consequences than an afternoon's entertainment.

As winter draws around us, we are even less available to keep an eye on the street and each other's houses. Let's be sure we do what we can.

But please -- when the Heart Fund caller comes to your door, do open up to her!