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Stolen items returned to Youth Centre
Late-night break-in at new youth facility prompts increased security

Laura Busch
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, July 19, 2012

Items stolen from the Inuvik Youth Centre last week have since been returned by the Inuvik RCMP.

NNSL photo/graphic

Samantha Stokell, left, and Davonna Kasook show video game equipment left behind by a thief or thieves who stole items from the Inuvik Youth Centre on the night of July 11. All stolen items have since been recovered by the Inuvik RCMP. - Laura Busch/NNSL photo

When executive director of the Youth Centre, Samantha Stokell, arrived at work Thursday morning, she noticed that things were not where she had left them while closing up the night before.

"The first thing I noticed was that the freezer door was open, and I thought that was really weird, so I closed it. And then I noticed that all of the juice boxes were missing, which was kind of odd," she said.

Other than the snack foods, a PlayStation gaming console was taken, along with five controllers and a Tony Hawk video game, said Stokell. However, the thieves had left behind a virtual skateboard that went with the stolen game.

There were also a few random items taken, such as the eight ball from the pool table in the facility.

The personal laptop of the Youth Centre's program support worker, Davonna Kasook, was taken. She said she had brought it in for maintenance and left it in the building, where she thought it would be safe.

"The Youth Centre spends all this money to get good equipment for the kids and good games and stuff and to just abuse it and take advantage of it, I don't like it at all," said Kasook. "There are quite a few kids around here who are bad enough to go around and steal stuff that they can't afford themselves."

It is believed that a thief or thieves entered the building through a side door. How that door was left open remains unclear. The Youth Centre has been open for drop-in Friday evenings since June 29.

The new centre co-ordinator arrived in Inuvik on Monday, which will mean more drop-in hours for the Youth Centre. The centre will also begin to offer programs to youth in the near future, said Stokell.

"We just want to provide (youth) with a safe place where they're supervised and they have a number of different activities that they can do here that maybe they don't have at home," said Stokell. "The video games are really expensive so not everyone has them."

The Youth Centre is equipped with a security system, but it was not operational at the time of the break-in, said Stokell. The Youth Centre is also hoping for donations of video cameras and surveillance equipment to help increase security, she said.

"I know that the previous Youth Centre, they had a lot of break-ins," said Stokell. "And now we are also susceptible to that."

Inuvik RCMP members on Saturday returned the gaming system, two controllers and Kasook's laptop, and the other items are on their way, Stokell said.

"I was so happy because now we have the games back and now all the kids can play the games, because that's who it's for," she said.

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