A public meeting will be held Thursday evening in Saint-Louis-de-Kent to encourage village residents to call the RCMP with any information they might have regarding a rash of break-ins and thefts, the mayor says.
"We want them to call the RCMP because I think maybe some incidents have happened where the RCMP has not been notified and that's very important that they are notified," Mayor Danielle Dugas said on Information Morning Moncton.
The police will explain at the meeting how to handle such issues and how a Neighbourhood Watch, which the community will try to organize, works. Meanwhile, residents will also hear from a Crime Stoppers representative about the volunteer organization.
The meeting follows several thefts in the community of fewer than 1,000 people.
In one example, a woman had her purse stolen from her kitchen counter. The mayor said she wasn't sure whether the woman left her home or just moved to a different part of her home when the theft occurred.
The local aquatic centre also fell victim to the thieves. Recounting that event, Dugas said they broke into the centre, caused $45,000 worth of damage, and made off with four bottles of liquor.
The mayor said she isn't sure what time the thieves broke into the centre, but that two people were seen in video footage — their identities aren't shown — leaving the building in the early morning.
Private homes have also been targeted.
"If you leave your garage door open and there's something that's accessible, they'll take it, basically," Dugas said.
Chainsaws, power saws and axes are among the items that have been taken in the community.
Homes being watched
Asked if she thinks the thieves are watching people's homes to see when they're home, the mayor said, "I would say so, yes."
Although the community can't prove anything, Dugas said, "basically everybody knows who it is ... It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see who it is."
Describing an "awesome" response from the RCMP, the mayor said the police have questioned those people.
The mayor has a few suggestions for community members.
"Just be vigilant," she said, adding that people should also keep on their outdoor lights. Although "it's not fun," it's important that people inform the police of anything they see, she said.
"Sometimes it can be just that little tip that will help the RCMP solve something bigger."