Gold heist prompts Atlin police investigation

Mike Mickey lost $250,000 in gold. The Whitehorse placer miner didn’t see it coming. It was late in the evening of Thursday, November 6, the…

Mike Mickey lost $250,000 in gold.

The Whitehorse placer miner didn’t see it coming. It was late in the evening of Thursday, November 6, the last of three months of sifting soil for gold in Spruce Creek, just outside Atlin, BC.

It was below freezing.

“It was too damn cold out there,” he said.

So he ordered his six men to head for town. He usually slept in a camper at the site, but that evening he joined them in town.

And he did something he had never done before. He left two days’ worth of gold in the sluice box.

On such a cold night, he expected it to be safe.

He was wrong.

When he returned in the morning, it was gone.

He figures the missing gold is worth $250,000.

“That’s a conservative estimate,” he said.

“In the last two days we hit bedrock, so it would have been the choicest of all.”

Atlin RCMP are investigating the theft.

The loss is a big hit for Mickey, who owns and operates a mining equipment company.

“It’s big. I don’t think it’ll bankrupt me, but it would definitely take up all the profit. Probably all the profit of the gold mine and my company in Whitehorse,” he said.

The upside is the thief will have difficulty selling the stolen gold, he said. Gold from the site has a unique, reddish tinge. Gold purchasers have been alerted to the theft.

And making a transaction with gold buyers requires setting up an account with a social insurance number. Anyone with stolen gold is unlikely to take that route and risk being caught.

That means anyone trying to sell the gold would likely try to sell the nuggets for cash at a discounted price, said Mickey.

There are “a great many coincidences” involved in the heist, he said.

Whoever took the gold needed to know not only of his operation’s location, but that the gold had been left in the box and how to operate the mining equipment.

“I’m leaning away from saying inside job, but it’s spectacular timing.”

Contact John Thompson at

Just Posted

The Yukon’s current outbreak of COVID-19 is driven by close contact between people at gatherings, such as graduation parties. (Black Press file)
Yukon logs 21 active cases as COVID-19 spreads through graduation parties

Anyone who attended a graduation party is being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms.

Yukon RCMP and other emergency responders were on the scene of a collision at Robert Service Way and the Alaska Highway on June 12. (Black Press file)
June 12 collision sends several to hospital

The intersection at Robert Service Way and the Alaska Highway was closed… Continue reading

Artist Meshell Melvin examines her work mounted in the Yukon Arts Centre on June 7. The show includes over 1,000 individual portraits. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Double portrait show at the Yukon Arts Centre features art that looks back

“I hope they’ve been looked at fondly, and I’m hoping that fun looking comes back.”

Sarah Walz leads a softball training session in Dawson City. Photo submitted by Sport Yukon.
Girls and women are underserved in sport: Sport Yukon

Sport Yukon held a virtual event to celebrate and discuss girls and women in sport

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bagged meter fees could be discounted for patios

Council passes first reading at special meeting

Kluane Adamek, AFN Yukon’s regional chief, has signalled a postponement to a graduation ceremony scheduled for today due to COVID-19. She is seen here in her Whitehorse office on March 17. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
AFN Yukon’s post-secondary grad celebration postponed

The event scheduled for June 14 will be rescheduled when deemed safe

(Alexandra Newbould/Canadian Press)
In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on.
Terror charges laid against man accused in London attack against Muslim family

Liam Casey Canadian Press A vehicle attack against a Muslim family in… Continue reading

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, poses for a portrait in the boardroom outside his office in Iqaluit, Nunavut, on Sept. 30, 2020. (Emma Tranter/Canadian Press)
Two cases of COVID-19 at Iqaluit school, 9 active in Nunavut

Nunavut’s chief public health officer says two COVID-19 cases at Iqaluit’s middle… Continue reading

The Village of Carmacks has received federal funding for an updated asset management plan. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Federal funding coming to Carmacks

The program is aimed at helping municipalities improve planning and decision-making around infrastructure

Paddlers start their 715 kilometre paddling journey from Rotary Park in Whitehorse on June 26, 2019. The 2021 Yukon River Quest will have a different look. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
The 22nd annual Yukon River Quest moves closer to start date

Although the race will be modified in 2021, a field of 48 teams are prepared to take the 715 kilometre journey from Whitehorse to Dawson City on the Yukon River

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

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its June 7 meeting

Letters to the editor.
This week’s mailbox: the impact of residential schools, Whitehorse Connects, wildfires

Dear Editor; Anguish – extreme pain, distress or anxiety. Justice – the… Continue reading

PROOF CEO Ben Sanders is seen with the PROOF team in Whitehorse. (Submitted)
Proof and Yukon Soaps listed as semifinalists for national award

The two companies were shortlisted from more than 400 nominated

Most Read