Judy Woodruff, mother of blues musician David Gogo, came home from a day of selling Christmas trees to discover her home had been broken into and her bedroom ransacked Saturday. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

A Nanaimo senior arrived home from a day of selling Christmas trees to discover a Grinch had paid her home a visit.

Judy Woodruff, mother of blues musician David Gogo, came home Saturday to find her bedroom had been ransacked.

“It took me a minute because the only room that was really messy was my bedroom,” said Woodruff, 71. “I came home a little bit earlier than I usually do and I think they probably took off when I drove up, because the rest of the rooms were fine. Just my bedroom was completely trashed.”

Woodruff said every drawer plus her closet had been torn apart, even her hope chest that she’s owned for 50 years.

“And I have nothing, really,” she said. “I’m poor. I live on my pensions and I never worked anywhere, so that’s only old age and Canada pension.”

Woodruff has lived on the property in the 800 block of Nanaimo River Road since 2016 after she returned from Courtenay after her husband from her second marriage died.

A bag holding two urns containing her husband’s and stepson’s ashes was also pulled out of her bedroom closet, but the urns were not broken open.

“They dumped the bag, but the urns were still intact,” she said.

Woodruff said some jewelry she’d inherited was taken and a number of pieces of First Nations art were taken.

“Other than that, well, it took me three hours to clean it up yesterday, but that’s OK. It could’ve been worse,” she said.

Woodruff was previously married to Mike Gogo, of Gogo’s Sawmill and Christmas Tree Farm, for 26 years. Mike said thefts from homes leave a lingering sense of insecurity and he suspects the culprit is someone who lives nearby who has allegedly been committing thefts at a number of properties in the area.

“It’s a real invasion of your privacy … and for a woman alone, like that, that can leave [someone feeling] paranoid too, so there’s that,” he said.

Gogo has, so far, not offered a reward for the capture of a suspect as he did in 2018 after a violent home invasion in Nanaimo when he offered $5,000 for information leading to an arrest or $6,000 if the suspect was delivered to his mill. That offer resulted in Gogo being awoken early one morning to find a man chained to the front of one of the mill’s two front-end loaders used to move logs and lumber around the mill site.

“I’ll just keep my ear to the ground and get my chains out,” Gogo said. “We’ve go two loaders. No waiting.”

Woodruff said she hopes talking about her break-in will prompt other people to be careful about securing their properties.

“I really [hope] by making this public other people are going to double-check their doors,” she said. “All of mine were locked and, technically, anybody could come through, they could just break a window, but still, it might deter somebody.”

RELATED: Gogo’s tree farm celebrates 90th year of growing Christmas trees

RELATED: Crime incidents on the rise in Nanaimo



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Judy Woodruff arrived home from a day of selling Christmas trees to find the bedroom of her home in south Nanaimo had been ransacked and jewelry and artwork taken. (David Gogo/Twitter)

Just Posted

Saanich teen launches free online tutoring website

School Helpers matches volunteer tutors with students

Name of victims ‘ripped down’ from Victoria display

Organizers feel the act is ‘malicious’

Government Street becomes pedestrian-priority corridor

One block of downtown street closed to cars entirely

‘The face of Belmont’: Custodial staff at Langford school pivot to support parents, students

Staff serve as point of contact for parents, students with school

Greater Victoria transit usage sees gradual rise

Ridership still down 66 per cent compared to last year

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Most Read