Car Thieves Back to Work in Gatineau Park
By: Team XC Ottawa (2011/12/14)
Lynette Chubb tipped us off that the woods are full of bandits, and not the nice Robin Hood types.
Car break-in attempts again today at Gatineau Park P11 - several cars this aft (Sunday) had damage done to their locking mechanisms. Mine was similarly damaged 2 weeks ago at P5. I now leave a sign sitting on my drivers seat: "I leave NOTHING of value in this car" Guess it should be bilingual?! I reported the incident to both the NCC and to the (Wakefield) police dept. They expressed their sympathy. So... I'm spreading the word via all the Park interest sites in the hopes that park visitors will leave nothing of value in their cars so that there will be no profit in such 'industry', and... if the Park gets a bad reputation, they might actually do something.
Other park interested sites are reporting on this as well today - MusicianOnSkis.ca and GuideGatineau.ca. Also good news is the fact the police are taking more of an interest too. From the MRCDC police web site:
The men were traveling aboard a fairly recent Pontiac Montana minivan, blue in color, bottom of the doors gray. There was a luggage rack on the roof. The thefts were perpetrated by the passenger, a while male, approximately 40 years of age, well built. He was wearing an orange coat and a red tuque. In order to gain access to the vehicles, holes were drilled below the door locks.
Anyone having information on these individuals is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Section of the Public Security Service of the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais at 819-459-2422 or via Info-Crime at 1-800-711-1800.
While we are sorry to hear about your break-in and it iss good to spread the word and remind people, the park already has a terrible reputation for car break-ins. Just a few incidents I know of..
- We've heard of several dozen break-ins over the last 12 years. Team skiers have suffered at least a dozen. In all those cases there were usually only clothes in the car, but windows were broken or holes drilled in the car doors.
- Karl and Megan have had a ski box stolen off their car while "parked" at Fortune.
- Several times team skiers have come back to the parking lots after an early morning ski to find other cars broken into. (What our cars are too driven into the ground?)
- A famous local ski coach with a convertible has had his roof slit open, probably because he has a sign in the window saying he's taken everything out of the car while in the park. (Or it could have been because he blew the wax at the Nakkertok Cookie race, nothing was ever proven.)
- I know another coach who had his truck stolen. It was later found, though it had been burned.
- We've reported several suspicious vehicles to help the police catch thieves. On two occasions the tips have helped them catch car burglars in the act, circling parking lots in vans looking for empty cars.
- Credit cards are often the target. They slip one out of your wallet, leaving everything else undisturbed. By the time you notice its missing they've racked up a hefty bill. Usually gas, stereos, or PlayStations and XBoxes that they can resell quickly.
Lets hope the police round up the thieves and come up with a method of dettering others from taking their place. Remember to leave nothing in your car, carry your wallet in a pocket or waiste pack.