Police are seeking anyone who has information about a break-in at the Esso Travel Centre on Highway 1 at Cornwall Road at approximately 3 a.m. on Sunday, April 29.
Security camera footage shows a lone man driving up to the front of the travel centre in an older model white Ford F-series pick-up truck, parking the truck in such a way that the front licence plate cannot be seen. The man—who is wearing a bandana and cap and appears to be approximately 6’2” tall—pries open the door of the travel centre and goes straight to the ATM, where he proceeds to try to put a tow-strap around the machine.
When he is unsuccessful at removing the machine he tries to kick in two interior doors (which were unlocked), then attempts to pry open the cigarette case, without success.
The thief spots the floor-standing night safe under the counter and puts the tow-strap around it, then proceeds to drive away, dragging the safe behind him. It was subsequently found, emptied of its contents, beside Highway 1 approximately three kilometres south of the travel centre.
Travel centre co-manager Damian Couture says that the thief appeared to know what he was doing. “He went straight to the ATM,” he says. “Because of the angle the vehicle was parked at we couldn’t see the plates. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has done this before and if the vehicle was stolen.
“But when his plan to steal the ATM failed, he didn’t appear to have a Plan B. It was just luck he spotted the safe.”
Ashcroft RCMP Sgt. Kathleen Thain agrees that the MO of the thief is similar to that of other thefts that have taken place in the Southeast region over the last few months. Ashcroft RCMP attended the scene, and the security footage has been turned over to them.
Anyone with information is asked to call the detachment at (250) 453-2216, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Your call to Crimestoppers is anonymous, and you could receive a reward.