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NNSL Photo/graphic

Cafe Gallery owner Rob Cook points to the window of his shop that thieves kicked in after stealing $200 in the early hours of Nov. 12. - Jason Unrau/NNSL photo

Rash of break-ins

Jason Unrau
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Dec 02/05) - At least four businesses in Inuvik were hit by robberies in the early hours of Saturday morning, Nov. 26.

Wrangling River Supply, Northern Property, Rapid Travel and Sheer Delight were broken into, according to RCMP.

"It appears entry was gained through broken windows," said Const. Tim Fifield. "The items taken included food, a small amount of change from Wrangling River, a laptop from Northern Property and as far as we can tell there was nothing taken at Rapid Travel."

Because of the close proximity of all the locations and the similar method of entry, Fifield believes that the break-ins are linked.

"We have a lead that we're following, but help from the public would certainly help," he said. "It appears to be a smaller individual due to the size of the small window where entry was gained at Wrangling River."

Fifield added that police advise all businesses in town to invest in a security system to guard against what has recently become a trend.

"(These thefts) are bothersome., We're in a small community and this should not be happening."

In a similar break-in during the early hours of Nov. 12, the Cafe Gallery was broken into through the rear door and approximately $200 was stolen.

Owner Rob Cook, who was alerted to the break-in by a security system linked to his mobile phone, believes the break-in was the work of a group rather than an individual.

"Because the time frame for me getting down here (to the cafe) was less than five minutes," he said.

"Money was taken from several locations and in strange denominations that it had to be more than one."

After taking cash but ignoring other items, the thief or thieves smashed a window at the front of the store.

"That's the mystery. Why did they break the window when they could've left through the door," said Cook. "I guess it was just vandalism."

In what police believe is not related to the break-ins in town, Environment and Natural Resources' storage facility at Shell Lake was robbed on the weekend. After gaining entrance to the building, the thief or thieves grabbed the keys to a government vehicle and used it to haul an assortment of loot, including a computer and flat screen monitor, presumably back to Inuvik where police later recovered the vehicle.

"I don't think this is related to the other break-ins because of the nature of what was stolen," said Fifield.

"I think this one was a little more organized."

This is the second break-in at the ENR compound this year. In October thieves gained access to the storage yard and stole a significant amount of diesel fuel and several McPherson tents.