October 10, 2016 - 1:39 PM
LAKE COUNTRY - Yesterday, a persistent thief's efforts to break into Winfield fruit stand safe were unsuccessful and unfortunately for him, caught on camera.
Alan Gatzke's main farming property is Gatzke Orchards in Oyama, but he also operates a satellite fruit stand in Winfield. The fruit stand is not staffed at all times, it's based on an honour system. The stand is essentially a stall, an open tent where customers grab fruit and put money in the safe.
Gatzke had already installed fake cameras and he noticed the faux cameras had been turned around and the cords were cut.
This prompted Gatzke to purchase several trail cameras. The cameras paid off quickly. The cameras appear to have captured over 50 videos and 200 photos of an attempted theft yesterday, Oct. 9.
Gatzke says the suspect arrived at 6:38 a.m. by bike, carrying tools in a backpack. He stayed until 8:15 a.m. trying in vain, to break into the safe.
When the suspect first arrived, his identity was well-hidden. He was wearing a hoodie, a hat, glasses and gloves.
"As he worked, he had to remove some clothing because he was getting too warm. By working so hard at the safe, he showed himself and the cameras were able to capture clear images of him," Gatzke says.
Two customers arrived around 8 a.m. At this point, the suspect grabbed a box and pretended to be a customer. Cameras recorded him putting apples into a box and chatting with the real customers. He continued his mission after they left.
The suspect then left empty-handed but badly damaged the safe, Gatzke says.
If you have any information about this attempted theft, or recognize the suspect, please contact Lake Country RCMP. The file number assigned to this case is #2016-60922.
The theft suspect was using a bicycle for transportation, wearing a backpack to carry tools and is seen wearing a keystone hat.
Image Credit: Contributed/Alan Gatzke
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