Po­lice bust break-in cul­prits

Four charged in Small Point in­ci­dent; one linked to Broad Cove theft

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Four peo­ple — all from St. John’s — have been charged in con­nec­tion with a break-in at J&L Con­ve­nience and Gas Bar in Small Point. Po­lice be­lieve the four­some may have been in­volved in other breakins in the re­gion.

It ap­pears that po­lice in Con­cep­tion Bay North have crip­pled a four­some that may have been re­spon­si­ble for a string of break-ins and thefts in the re­gion.

The ac­cused — two men and two women from St. John’s — were ar­rested dur­ing the early hours of July 26 fol­low­ing a pur­suit that in­volved ve­hi­cles, uni­formed of­fi­cers and a po­lice dog on Route 70 near Small Point.

The dra­matic ar­rests came as po­lice from the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion District RCMP were re­spond­ing to an alarm at J& L Con­ve­nience and Gas Bar in Small Point. The busi­ness had been bro­ken into and the in­trud­ers, who stole to­bacco prod­ucts and lot­tery scratch tick­ets, ac­ti­vated an elab­o­rate siren and alarm sys­tem in the process. The cul­prits were recorded by se­cu­rity cam­eras, but had their faces cov­ered.

Of­fi­cers spot­ted a pur­ple Chyrsler Car­a­van leav­ing the area just be­fore day­light and at­tempted to stop the ve­hi­cle. The driver ini­tially re­fused to stop, but later pulled the ve­hi­cle to the shoul­der, and all four oc­cu­pants ex­ited the van and ran into the woods.

Three were later tracked down by a po­lice dog and its han­dler. A fourth was picked up as he walked along the high­way.

A quan­tity of to­bacco prod­ucts and lot­tery scratch tick­ets were found in the van, along with at least five large rocks, tools and other items.

Po­lice say the van, an older model, is reg­is­tered to a 54-year-old St. John’s man. The man was not aware that his van had been stolen when con­tacted by po­lice. Its ig­ni­tion had been ripped out.

Ar­rested were 30-year-old Fred­er­ick Leonard Wade, Melissa Yet­man, 28, and Tracey Stamp, age 23. All three made courts ap­pear­ances last week in Har­bour Grace. A fourth ac­cused, a 34-year-old male, was re­leased on a re­cog­ni­zance by po­lice and his iden­tity was not made pub­lic. He will ap­pear in court Sept. 20.

Po­lice say Wade was driv­ing the van and is fac­ing the most se­ri­ous charges: pos­ses­sion of stolen prop­erty, break and en­ter, fail­ing to stop for po­lice and breach of un­der­tak­ing.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a July 20 break-in at Bur­den’s Foodex in Broad Cove, which is about a foot­ball field’s length away from J&L Con­ve­nience, has also been linked to Wade. Po­lice say phys­i­cal ev­i­dence col­lected at the scenes con­firms that Wade was in­volved in both crimes.

Wade was on pa­role at the time of the in­ci­dents, and was still in cus­tody as of Fri­day. Yet­man and Stamp were both re­leased and have court dates set for Septem­ber.

Mean­while, the owner of J&L Con­ve­nience cred­ited high-tech se­cu­rity mea­sures for en­sur­ing the in­trud­ers were caught.

“ The sys­tem made the dif­fer­ence,” said Ju­nior Loveys.

Loveys said his sys­tem is con­nected to a se­cu­rity cen­tre in Hal­i­fax, where se­cu­rity of­fi­cers can monitor the se­cu­rity cam­eras in his busi­ness. Once the sys­tem was tripped, the RCMP was no­ti­fied.

“I hope they give them some­thing more than a week in jail,” Loveys com­mented.

There has been a rash of break-ins in the re­gion last month, in­clud­ing the theft of a safe from a postal of­fice in Browns­dale, and po­lice sources have not ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity that these same in­di­vid­u­als may have been in­volved in all or most of the in­ci­dents.

Pho­tos by Terry Roberts/The Com­pass

Tracey Stamp (left) and Melissa Yet­man, both res­i­dents of St. John’s, emerge from the court house in Har­bour Grace on July 26 af­ter mak­ing an ap­pear­ance in re­la­tion to a break-in at J&L Con­ve­nience and Gas Bar in Small Point ear­lier in the day.

The owner of J&L Con­ve­nience and Gas Bar in Small Point, Ju­nior Loveys, dis­plays the shat­tered lock that was used to se­cure the rear en­trance to his busi­ness. Four St. John’s res­i­dents have been charged in con­nec­tion with a July 26 break-in at the store.

St. John’s res­i­dent Fred­er­ick Leonard Wade, age 30, waits to make an ap­pear­ance at pro­vin­cial court in Har­bour Grace on July 26. Wade is charged with re­cent break-ins at busi­nesses in Small Point and Broad Cove.

This van was seized July 26 af­ter po­lice ar­rested four peo­ple in con­nec­tion with a break-in at a busi­ness in Small Point on July 26. The van was stolen from a St. John’s man the night be­fore.

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