Thieves raid Kam Lake
No suspects in seven business break and enters

Cindy MacDougall
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Feb 18/00) - In the 12 years he's been operating his business on Curry Drive, Bill Aho has never had anything stolen from his property.

"We don't even lock the front gate and no one's even picked anything up from the front yard," said Aho, who owns and operates Central Mechanical Systems.

That sense of trust was disturbed last week when thieves broke into Central Mechanical and stole several hundred dollars, part of a rash of break-ins in the Kam Lake industrial area.

Seven businesses have lost a total of $1,300 in the past two weeks, when thieves pried open a door and stole any cash they could find in the buildings.

Const. Jason Doucet, who is investigating the string of break and enters, said the police believe the crimes are related.

"They've all happened late at night, and we haven't discovered any witnesses or physical evidence," he said. "They gained access by prying a door open."

Aho said it was interesting only money was stolen from his shop.

"We have a lot of expensive equipment, but they seemed to want something easy," he said.

Doucet said police have no definite suspects, but continue to investigate and are asking witnesses to come forward.

"It's difficult because of the remote location," he said. "Not many people live out there."

RCMP spokesperson Const. Denise Potvin said weekends are a hard time to set up extra patrols in any area of town.

"We're so busy with calls," she said. "We go from call to call to call. We can't not go to a domestic assault call because we want to do an extra patrol."

She also said patrols have not been proven to reduce crime and may allow a criminal to track the police's comings and goings.

"They may say, 'Oh, they won't be back for a few hours,' and do it then," she said.

Potvin said the best way to protect a business is a security system.

Aho said Central Mechanical is planning to move to a new location with an alarm in the next few months. Until then, he and his employees will be extra vigilant.

"I don't know if this is a trend," he said. "I guess we're going to have to be more diligent."