Yukon graphic designer Patrick Chausse knew the names of the two teen girls who recently broke into his downtown Whitehorse office.
He also knew where they lived, where they went to school and how old they were. He even had pictures of them.
All thanks to Facebook.
But even though he turned all this information over to Whitehorse RCMP in January, it still took them more than a month to make any arrests.
In the meantime, two girls were also suspected of breaking into other downtown buildings, including the Elijah Smith Building, the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce and the Anglican Church, according to an RCMP news release.
“I had their phone numbers, their school, their pictures – it was all there and nothing happened,” said Chausse. “All these other breakins didn’t have to happen because I had everything in hand.”
It all started with some suspicious graffiti in the hallway outside his Horwood’s Mall office.
“It was really crude language, but written in this nice girlie script,” he said.
He didn’t think much of it until the next day. He was working late when he met two well-dressed girls in the hallway who asked him for the bathroom key. A little suspicious, he let them into the bathroom but he didn’t hand over the keys.
It wasn’t until he went to lock up several hours later that he realized it wasn’t the bathroom keys he should have been worried about.
Digging through his coat, which was hanging on a coat rack in the hall, he couldn’t find his keys. They weren’t in his office and he soon discovered, after calling for help, they weren’t in his van either.
Back at work the next morning, nothing seemed unusual. But that night when Chausse checked his Facebook page, the pieces of the puzzle fell together.
His home page was covered in crude comments, much like what had been scrawled in the Horwood’s hallway a few days before.
“I suddenly realized that the same people who got my keys went into my office, logged onto my computer and wrote on my Facebook page,” he said.
Sure enough, the next morning he realized some money, a phone and a pair of sunglasses were missing from the office and his computers had been unplugged.
“I guess they thought by pulling the plug they would wipe all the information off the computers, but these are Macs,” he said.
When Chausse plugged them back in, the latest windows popped up, including the two girls’ Facebook pages – still logged in.
“I was so temped to write a bunch of shit on their wall,” said Chausse, with a laugh.
Instead, he took screen shots of all the pages and called the RCMP.
The officer he talked to told him he knew the girls and he’d be in touch within a day.
A week later, Chausse was still waiting for a call.
“And all that week I was hearing stories from friends who work downtown about these girls coming into their offices and asking for the bathroom keys,” he said.
When he checked back with police a week and a half later he was told the officer he’d talked to had been transferred to Teslin.
“Meanwhile, every four to five days, I was hearing stories about two girls, who fit the description, coming into offices late and asking for the bathroom keys,” he said.
Eventually, Chausse got in touch with another officer who told him the new replacement wasn’t available.
Then last week, he got a call from a friend who had just had two girls ask to use the bathroom and then had run away with her jacket.
He sent a photo of the girls to the friend and she confirmed it was the same girls who’d just stolen her coat.
“These girls were on the prowl, they had been for at least a month and the cops weren’t doing anything,” said Chausse.
It wasn’t until Feb. 9, after the RCMP had received a call from an employee at the Elijah Smith Building who had found two girls rifling through his desk, that the pair were arrested after a brief foot chase, said the RCMP release.
Both are known to police and had been ordered not to contact one another. Both have more than a dozen outstanding charges, including break and enters, theft of a truck and failing to comply with conditions.
Chausse figures he’s out roughly $2,000 for a new computer screen (one blew up when the plug was pulled on it) and for the new chip key for his van, as well as the cost of changing all the locks. His business lost about $3,000 in time spent dealing with it all.
“It’s not just that the cops ignored my case, because I know there are lots of more serious violent crimes out there,” he said.
“But (if they’d arrested the girls immediately) all these other break-ins wouldn’t have happened. It’s frustrating.”
The RCMP had not returned calls as of Friday morning.
Contact Genesee Keevil at