Police in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia investigate spate of recent thefts


WHITNEY PIER, NS – A wave of recent thefts in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality puts some store workers on edge – and police are looking for suspects.

Cape Breton Regional Police Chief Robert Walsh said there have been five robberies in the area in the past week. Some took place in broad daylight.

“Three of the incidents resulted in arrests and charges. The other two are still under investigation,” Walsh told CTV Atlantic.

At the Pier Discount Dollar Store in Whitney Pier, Nova Scotia, a building best known for the community pride mural on the side of the building, a man approached the counter with a knife Thursday at noon and said burgled the cash register. Friday morning the staff still felt uncomfortable.

“The fear… of what happened and the fear that you would be killed or injured,” said store co-owner Steve Nagy, describing the feelings of those working when the theft took place.

The police chief does not disagree. That’s a lot of thefts in a short period of time for a municipality the size of Cape Breton. But he says there is nothing to suggest a particular underlying reason behind the recent spate of crimes. Although he admits there might be a copy element.

“We have no reason to believe they are related in any way. However, we are actively investigating and believe these are isolated incidents,” Walsh said.

One of the crimes in which an arrest was made was a weekend incident where police said a woman stole a taxi at gunpoint and then stole it.

Shortly after, they say the vehicle was found in the parking lot of a Membertou gas station and the suspect was found lying on a sidewalk a short distance away.

Back at the Pier Discount Dollar Store, staff shared surveillance photos which they said show the suspect.

“In my opinion, it’s the socio-economic status of Cape Breton fueled by a combination of drug addiction and these are people who are just trying to get money fast,” Nagy said, when asked. asked why he thought the wave of thefts had taken place.

Police Chief Walsh says the two remaining investigations are heading in the right direction, and they are asking the public for advice.

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