Fredericton — It was a day of celebration for both the local police and victims of car theft in Fredericton. Though Old Man Winter hasn’t yet said his final goodbyes to the Maritimes, the snowbanks have certainly done their fair share of shrinking, and in doing so have cracked the case that has baffled police since early December.
“I got the call early in the morning from a distressed woman who was going to be late for work,” said Fredericton City Police Officer Allison Chamberlain, referring to a call she responded to in mid-January. “The woman was distraught, and understandably so. We had just been hit by another massive blizzard, and when she went outside to shovel and start her vehicle in the morning she noticed that her truck was missing.”
“First thing I did was call my boss and tell him I was going to be late, and then I dialled 9-1-1,” said Susan Bronson. “I was more frustrated than anything, I suppose. If the constant barrage of blizzards wasn’t enough, this definitely gave me the winter blues.”
Vehicle theft in New Brunswick isn’t overly common, but it does happen. This case baffled police for months. Bronson’s truck wasn’t the first to be reported stolen, and it wasn’t the last. In fact, Officer Chamberlain responded to 2 more reports of theft that very day. “It was starting to become overwhelming,” she said. “We had dozens of vehicles missing and not a single lead on any of them.”
Police offered a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest, but no reliable tips came in. Just as all hope seemed lost, police got help from an unexpected source: the sun. The first spring thaw was a real eye-opener for Fredericton. The massive snowbanks, which are still lingering, dropped enough to reveal the roofs of most of the missing vehicles still parked in their respective owners’ driveways.
“It was great for our stats, especially considering how early in the year we still are,” a police spokesperson told The Manatee. “We were able to recover every vehicle except one, but that one was left in Fredericton’s north side with the keys still in the ignition, so what do you expect?”