RCMP released further information about the break-in at Portage's Keystone Sports Excellence on October 21. Investigation determined that Daniel Francis, 30, from Portage, had climbed to the roof of the building and damaged a vent grill to gain access to the venting system. He then entered the vent and got stuck.

Once removed from the vent, Francis was arrested and charged with Break and Enter and Mischief Over $5000 due to the extensive damage caused to the building.

Francis has been released with a court date.




The Owner of a local sporting goods store in Portage la Prairie is voicing his concerns with the judicial system following an attempted Break and Enter Friday morning.

Kelly Funk of Keystone Sports Excellence, says that when his staff came into work on Friday, they discovered a person stuck in their vents, seeking help with getting out, after trying to break into the store.

"After about an hour and a half, the first responders were able to remove the suspect and in today's world, I will say that it was remarkable how everyone there, from the RCMP and Fire Department, treated him with respect considering the actions that he was about to do. Sometimes out of a bad situation, you do see some very good that's still in and around Portage."

Funk shares that he is grateful for all the first responders who went above and beyond to help resolve the situation.

File Photo.

The store owner says that the clean-up process will take place throughout the next few days.

"When part of your ceiling comes down, and venting comes in, light fixtures have to be removed, and other situations that I can't comment on taking place, it adds up. Unfortunately, we're going to be down for 2-3 days in that one section. Even though the suspect didn't get away with anything, our damages are going to be in the $20,000 to $30,000 range."

Funk adds that his biggest concern is that criminals continue to take, take and take while facing minor consequences, which he believes will lead to this suspect being released from custody as soon as Monday.

The Portage business owner gave a special shoutout to the community for their kind words through phone calls and Facebook messages.

"This community is great. We just have 30 individuals that need to be dealt with in whatever form that we can as a city deal with them, and once those people are taken care of, maybe we can rebound as a complete community."

All in all, Funk notes that as horrible as the situation was, it could have been worse, and he is just thankful no one was hurt.