Nanaimo thieves steal single mom’s ‘livelihood’ by taking landscaping tools

Eleanor Hickey felt bad in her stomach when she found two days ago that the door of her storage shed was pried open.

That’s because every expensive tool Hickey owned and used in her freelance landscaping job has been stolen.

“I was just in shock,” said the resident of Nanaimo. “Just hurt and devastated.”

“It’s a terrible feeling.”

The incident happened sometime on late January 1 or early January 2 on Kennedy Street in Nanaimo.

Thieves got rid of all of the Hickey’s Stihl and Echo weed eaters, hedge trimmers, and brush cutters valued at over $ 2,000.

“It took a long time to save up to get really decent stuff,” she said.

In fact, every tool that needed fuel that Hickey couldn’t safely store in her house was in the backyard shed and was stolen. The single mother of a son with special needs was completely at a loss.

Hickey is uninsured and the theft left her feeling defeated less than five days after the New Year.

“It was my livelihood, it was all in,” she said. “I can’t do my job now until this stuff is replaced.”

Hickey’s home wasn’t the only home hit.

Const. Gary O’Brien, media spokesman for the Nanaimo RCMP, said there was another theft nearby around the same time.

“A shed was broken into and lots of lawn implements were taken,” said O’Brien.

According to the Nanaimo RCMP, a total of 14 thefts took place in the city on the night of Hickey’s break-in. Any stolen items are quickly sold on the street for drugs or cash, which is often used to purchase drugs.

Thefts have increased significantly over the past year and much of it can always be traced back to the drug market, ”said O’Brien.

For Hickey, theft isn’t a number. She says the tools are all she needs to feed herself and her son and that the person or those responsible have taken their livelihood away from them.

“I hope if someone has or sees it they’ll give it back to me,” she said.

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