Thieves make mammoth heist

A chunk of mammoth ivory that was stolen from the back of a pickup two and a half months ago is still nowhere to be found, and RCMP have gone to the public for help.

A chunk of mammoth ivory that was stolen from the back of a pickup two and a half months ago is still nowhere to be found, and RCMP have gone to the public for help.

The partially intact tusk, which may, at this point, be processed or turned into jewelry, was snatched from a truck parked in the Superstore parking lot on January 12.

Police are asking anyone who’s witnessed a suspicious mammoth ivory sale since that date to call them.

That means anyone who isn’t selling it through a legitimate business, said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Mark Groves.

“If people are trying to make a quick buck selling it on the street or in the bar or something like that, and not through a business,” said Groves.

Police believe the thieves are “car prowlers” who target unlocked cars.

But police wouldn’t get into the legality of procuring ivory in the first place, or under what circumstances ivory sales are legal or illegal in the Yukon.

“(The owner) was along the lines of a dealer,” said Groves.

The sale of ivory from miners to dealers to jewellers is common, he said.

Police are looking for suspicious circumstances surrounding a sale, not whether the thieves are selling the ivory through legal or illegal means.

“I don’t want to get into the whole licensing or permitting thing,” said Groves.

It’s wasn’t clear by press time whether regulations designate a mammoth tusk as a “historic object” under the Yukon’s Historic Resources Act. If it is, a permit is needed to search a historic site and the object is not allowed to leave the territory. (James Munson)