Copperbelt museum latest victim in string of break ins

Police are investigating a break-in at the Copperbelt Railway and Mining Museum that happened early Monday morning.

Police are investigating a break-in at the Copperbelt Railway and Mining Museum that happened early Monday morning.

The museum’s collection was left untouched, but a new laptop and $1,500 in cash were stolen.

The thieves broke in through an office window and poured Gatorade over documents in the office, according to Angela Drainville, executive director of the Miles Canyon Historic Railway Society.

“They took everything out and they threw everything everywhere,” she said. “It’s just destructive and ridiculous.”

Drainville said the stolen money was registration money for the museum’s summer camps. She said this summer’s camps won’t be affected by the theft, but the money stolen was worth 12 weeks of camp.

Drainville said the theft is a “big blow” to a not-for-profit organization that operates on a very modest budget.

“It’s so much money for us,” she said. “I can’t believe that we were targeted.”

Const. Dean Hoogland said Whitehorse RCMP are still investigating the break-in, and currently have no suspects.

Based on the type of break-in and the damage, he said young people are most likely involved.

This is the latest in a string of recent break-ins in the city. Since early June, thieves have targeted the Whitehorse Boys and Girls Club, the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter, a footwear and clothing store, the fish ladder, a liquor warehouse, and the A&W restaurant.

Hoogland said it’s too soon to say whether this latest break-in is linked to the others.

He said the spate of break-ins may be related to unemployment or drug and alcohol addictions.

Drainville said she’s also concerned about an increase in graffiti along the waterfront and elsewhere in the city. The society operates the waterfront trolley as well as the mining museum, and Drainville said tourists who ride the trolley often complain about the graffiti on riverside buildings.

She said she’s been in contact with other organizations and businesses that have been targeted to discuss strategies to reduce vandalism. Those strategies include designing a public art project or a graffiti park.

“Right now, it’s just become extremely difficult for a lot of the not-for-profits to operate in the face of this,” she said. “We’re really trying to figure out how to address what is lacking in the community that causes people to behave in this way.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

Delegate calls on city to consider age restrictions and further regulations

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Joel Krahn/ Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

Most Read