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Suspects wanted for 10 break and enters in one night in rural Saskatchewan

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WATCH: Saskatchewan RCMP is looking for suspects in a rural crime spree. – Jan 18, 2020

Saskatchewan RCMP is looking for suspects who robbed 10 businesses or rural municipality offices in five different towns on Friday night.

The break and enters happened early on Jan. 17 in communities along Highway 40, Highway 3 and Highway 378, police say.

More than $16,000 was stolen — without counting the money and merchandise stolen from the businesses from which the employees did not respond to an interview request or who declined to comment.

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According to store owners and employees whom did speak to Global News, the suspects began their spree around midnight in Hafford, Sask., approximately an hour northwest of Saskatoon. They broke into the local post office, Communiplex skating rink and then took more than $5,000 in cash, cigarettes and lottery tickets from The Rack Gas Bar, Taylinn Cherwinski, an employee, said.

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Next, they robbed the Blaine Lake post office, followed by the Leask Pharmacy and Leask Mart around 3 a.m. They stole more than $6,000 in cigarettes and $500 from the latter location, said Jake Kim, the owner.

After that, they took about $2,500 in tobacco products from the Shell Lake General Store around 4 a.m., according to the owner Joy Ardagh. They also robbed the Shell Lake post office.

About an hour later, they stole around $2,000 worth of shop tools, a laptop and cash from the Rabbit Lake rural municipality office, said Administrator Christina Moore. They also robbed the Shell Lake post office.

Two suspects committed 10 break and enters in five different towns in rural Saskatchewan on Jan. 17, 2020. Courtesy of Christina Moore

No one from Canada Post, the RCMP, the Leask Pharmacy or the Town of Hafford (which runs the Communiplex rink) responded to a request for comment.

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An RCMP statement said the same suspect(s) may be responsible for all break and enters and that the “suspect(s) are believed to be driving a small [g]rey or [s]ilver SUV hatchback,” but the owners and employees who spoke to Global News said two men were caught on security cameras.

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Joy Ardagh, the owner of the Shell Lake General Store, almost collided with the suspects when she and her husband were responding to the alarm.

“As we crossed the intersection in front of the store, the vehicle, by my estimate … would be travelling 60-70 km/h at least, running through the stop sign,” she said on the phone from Shell Lake.

“If we would have been a split second later we would probably would have been t-boned. And then we just whipped around and chased them out of town.”

Kim and Cherwinski, both said they were alarmed by the suspects’ efficiency.

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“They know how to open the safe, they know how to easily break the door and then get into the stores. So I think … they’ve done this many times [before],” Kim said on the phone from his store.

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Cherwinski said: “They just knew what they were doing. They knew what they wanted, so it was just like a get in quick, grab what you want and get out. They didn’t really wander around the building to look for things.”

“From the time that they went around the store and from the time when our alarm went off, it didn’t take them long,” she said.

“They’ve got the tools and they’re quick.”

“They went right by my door and directly to the post office,” Moore said.

Kim said he hoped the suspects are arrested soon so that no one else is robbed.

RCMP is asking anyone with information to contact them at 306-310-7867.

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