Religious items damaged after break-in at Tuktoyaktuk Anglican church

·2 min read
Police said religious items were damaged after a break-in at the Anglican Church in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., early Wednesday morning. (Karli Zschogner/CBC - image credit)
Police said religious items were damaged after a break-in at the Anglican Church in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., early Wednesday morning. (Karli Zschogner/CBC - image credit)

Police said religious items were damaged after a break-in at the Anglican Church in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., early Wednesday morning.

The RCMP said in a news release that someone gained entry to the building through the chapel.

Religious items were discovered damaged and strewn across the floor.

The RCMP are investigating, the release said, and are asking for any assistance from the public.

Mayor Erwin Elias said vandalism has been a concern for the last few months around the community.

"It's starting to pick up. This is, I think, the third one in the last month where we've had a vandalism to not only personal people's property, but the hamlet's property as well."

Karli Zschogner/CBC
Karli Zschogner/CBC

Elias said the hamlet had recently created a position for security, but even still there's been incidents of vandalism.

He thinks it's the same group of youth who have been behind the incidents and that it could partly be tied to them feeling cooped up for the past two years with the pandemic.

He says kids's actions fall under the responsibility of their parents or guardians.

"We had options in the past with vandalism to charge parents ... we didn't want to do that, because we don't want to put more hardship on the families too," Elias said. "But ... [I'm] starting to get the feeling that maybe we're too lenient."

Elias said the hamlet has also been having meetings with the RCMP on a monthly basis.

"They're aware of this, and one of the things we've been asking for from them is to do more patrolling in the community, being more active in a community, and then maybe that will settle things down, too," he said, adding the onus is on residents to keep an eye out.

"There's only so much we can do as a hamlet, but the community has to step up."

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