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Rash of thefts includes Matador Mining site


A helicopter transports mining equipment. – Courtesy of @Matador Mining

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter ISLE AUX MORTS — On Oct. 20, the RCMP released a statement regarding two recent thefts that took place on the Southwest coast. Both reports were received during the second week in October, with the first occurring in Cape Ray and the other a theft from Matador Mining in Isle Aux Morts. “RCMP in Port aux Basques are investigating two recently reported thefts and are seeking assistance from the public. “On October 13, 2023, police received a report of an overnight theft that occurred sometime between the evening of October 12 and the morning of October 13, 2023. Twenty-one bundles of roofing shingles were stolen from a commercial structure on Route 408 in Cape Ray. “On October 12, 2023, police received a report of a theft of a number of items from Matador Mining located on Gold Mine Road in Isle Aux Morts. The theft could have occurred anytime since June 2023. The following items were stolen from the property:

  1. A white Unique brand propane range/stove

  2. A white 24-inch GE brand refrigerator

  3. Sections of counter tops

  4. Shelving units

  5. A bathroom vanity

  6. Two electric wall mounted heaters

  7. Three Kool King brand 35-pint dehumidifiers

  8. Various small kitchen appliances and cutlery

  9. Plastic folding kitchen tables

  10. A number of folding plastic kitchen chairs

“The investigations are continuing. “Anyone having knowledge of either of these crimes, the persons responsible, or the location of stolen property is asked to contact Channel-Port aux Basques RCMP at 709- 695-2149 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers: #SayItHere 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), visit www. nlcrimestoppers.com or use the P3Tips app.” Crispin Pike, VP of Discovery with Matador Mining said that the theft from their site was discovered in early October, but promised that none of the items stolen would hinder their operations. “It happened this fall,” said Pike. “We just went up there, and we were just doing a bit of a cleanup up there, and we noticed that someone had been in there and taken some items, which is unfortunate. It was items related to a cabin. They took a stove and a fridge and bathroom vanity, that kind of stuff. I would imagine it’s in someone’s cabin there now.” The exact time when the theft occurred is known, but as there were no cameras present on site, the identity of the thief or thieves remains unknown. “We know when it happened. I don’t have the date here with me, but we do know when the date was that it happened” said Pike. “We filed a report with our RCMP branch there in Port aux Basques, and they put out a media release on it.” The fact that this theft happened doesn’t make Matador Mining think any less of the community or region, but they will look into additional security measures to prevent this from happening again in the future. “We have a pretty good community in and around the area. There’s a lot of cabins up and down the Gold Mine Road, and everyone kind of looks out for each other, so it hasn’t been much of an issue,” said Pike. “Up and down the road, there’s a lot of people from Isle Aux Morts that have cabins, and like I said, it is a really good community, and everyone kind of keeps an eye out for each other, so it’s unfortunate that this happened.” Port aux Basques RCMP isn’t the only detachment dealing with thefts recently. The Bay St. George RCMP announced a report of a stolen UTV in their Oct. 6 news release. “Bay St. George RCMP is investigating the theft of a side-by-side Utility-Task-Vehicle (UTV) that was stolen from a residential property on Hansen Highway in Stephenville sometime overnight on September 5, 2023. “Local efforts by the detachment to locate the side-by-side have been exhausted. The vehicle has not been located. “The UTV, a blue 2023 Polaris Ranger 1000 side-by-side, valued at approximately $30,000, was stolen while parked on the property.” On Oct. 23, the Bay St. George RCMP also issued a statement regarding a stolen ATV. “Bay St. George RCMP is investigating the theft of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) while parked at a property in Aguathuna. The theft occurred sometime overnight between the evening of October 9 and the morning of October 10, 2023. “The stolen quad is a camouflage green 2016 Artic Cat Alterra 700 XT with an Ontario license plate. The investigation is continuing.” According to Statistics Canada, certain crimes appear to be on the rise across the entire country. “Police-reported crime in Canada, as measured by the Crime Severity Index (CSI), increased for the second consecutive year, up four per cent in 2022. The Violent CSI rose in 2022, reaching its highest point since 2007. The Non-violent CSI also increased in 2022 but remained lower than before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The consecutive increases recorded in the overall CSI may indicate a return to the upward trend in crime observed before the start of the pandemic. “The first year of the pandemic was marked by a decline in the overall volume and severity of police-reported crime, notably while lockdown restrictions were first implemented, driven by less non-violent crime. Before this drop, the CSI had been rising for five consecutive years beginning in 2015 (+19 per cent over five years). The Violent CSI rose five per cent in 2022, following a six per cent increase the previous year. Compared with 2021, the increase in the Violent CSI in 2022 included higher rates of robbery (up 15 per cent). “The Non-violent CSI — which includes, for example, property offences and drug offences — rose four per cent in 2022 but was six per cent lower than in 2019. Much of the increase in 2022 was because of higher rates of several property crimes, notably motor vehicle theft (up 24 per cent), breaking and entering (up four per cent), minor theft ($5,000 or under; up 10 per cent), shoplifting ($5,000 or under; up 31 per cent) and general fraud (up seven per cent).” Thankfully, increases are not always the case. “In contrast, rates of other non-violent violations, such as drug offences (down 17 per cent), identity fraud (down 11 per cent) and identity theft (down eight per cent), impaired driving (down three per cent) and administration of justice violations (down two per cent), were down from 2021. The CSI takes into account both the volume and the severity of crime. The police-reported crime rate — a measure of the volume of crime — increased by five per cent from 2021 to 2022, up to 5,668 incidents per 100,000 population. Like the CSI, the crime rate in 2022 (down four per cent) was lower than in 2019.”

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