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Caught on camera

Jason Unrau
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Jan 20/06) - Thieves in Inuvik could find their actions televised on local cable, just like those caught on tape in the aftermath of a Dec. 27 break-in at Westwind Recreation.

"If they have surveillance footage, yes, we'll be doing it again." said Const. Noella Cockney of the RCMP.

There are still no suspects in the Westwind case.

Shop owner James Day says he installed the $2,500 camera system this past summer to deter criminals. He estimates the investment saved him $15,000 worth of snowmobiles that were returned after those who took them were identified.

In the most recent Westwind robbery, investigators believe three people were involved.

"They tried to pry the grating from three windows before they succeeded on the third, then smashed the window to get in," said Day. "They took some Fox clothing and a bit of money."

Previous to the closed circuit camera system, Day had installed grating on all windows at his shop to prevent break-ins.

"It's frustrating, that's for sure," said Day of the ongoing break-ins. "I've got footage of people trying to start a snowmobile, it not working and them walking away, too. So if you come into the yard, it will be on tape."

Following the Dec. 27 incident, Day turned the tape over to the RCMP and officers decided to approach New North Networks to get the footage aired. Basic cable subscribers in town need only turn to channel five to check out the looped footage.

"If it can help to identify those committing the crimes, then we'll do it," said Staff Sgt. Sid Gray.

As for the legality of showing what could potentially be a young offender on television committing a crime, Gray says he wouldn't if it was obviously a minor.

"We'd take a look at first and go ahead if (those on the tape) appeared to be adults."