BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
An RCMP officer investigates a series of break-ins on Friday.
Cash was king in Wawanesa as eight businesses were broken into and vandalized in a crime spree that happened sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning.
Police tape crosses the doorway to the Co-op building on Main Street in Wawanesa following a series of break-ins.
(BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
The thief, or thieves, had no interest in picking up some home insurance, stealing grass seed, or getting a Brazilian wax, instead, bypassing all goods at McLean Insurance, Heritage Co-op and Waxed Salon — three of the eight businesses breached — for cash.
Suzanne Hauser owns Waxed Salon, which operates out of the plaza where four businesses were unlawfully entered.
She has been operating since January in Wawanesa after relocating her business from Brandon.
"It’s annoying," Hauser said. "This is the second time we’ve been broken into. We had it happen in Brandon and I didn’t want to go through the same thing, so we don’t keep really any cash at the shop."
A forensic team was combing the businesses in search of fingerprints that might lead investigators to the culprits.
Jason Cullen, who manages the Co-op, was also busy scrubbing video looking for an image of whoever carried out the theft and subsequent damage.
As of noon Friday, Cullen still hadn’t been allowed into the building as RCMP investigated.
The building that was broken into was the Co-op’s old building, used mainly for storage, he said.
"I’m sure it was a disappointment for them once they got into the building," Cullen said. "I don’t know what we’ve lost yet until the police are done their investigation."
"An undisclosed amount of cash was stolen, and there were damages to all businesses as a result of the break and enter," an RCMP spokesperson said.
According to police, a ninth business in the community showed signs of a break-in attempt.
Blue Hills RCMP, which responded to the initial call, also responded to two additional break-ins and robberies in Glenboro and Wellwood.
"There was one business in each of these towns that had been entered," RCMP said, adding cash was stolen. "It is unclear at this time if the Glenboro and Wellwood break and enters are related to the Wawanesa occurrences."
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 14, 2014