Yellowknife family says campsite burgled during birthday celebrations at Fred Henne

'It really was disappointing,' said theft victim Michaelis Harrison

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A Yellowknife woman says she and her family’s campsite was burgled on a birthday camping trip.

Michaelis Harrison said it happened to her sometime before Wednesday morning when she discovered that someone had looted her campsite at Fred Henne Territorial Park.

Michaelis Harrison and her family had their Fred Henne campsite looted while they slept. Pictured is Olivia Harrison, sitting next to the family’s empty cooler.
photo courtesy of Michaelis Harrison

“It really was disappointing,” said Harrison. “This is actually our first time camping at Fred Henne.”

She, her husband Kenneth and their daughter Olivia set up camp at Fred Henne on Tuesday for her birthday party, she said.

Michaelis, Kenneth and Olivia Harrison at Fred Henne Territorial Park earlier this week.
photo courtesy of Michaelis Harrison

They stashed some of their stuff – including food, alcohol and some electronic devices – in a cooler underneath a picnic table at their site.

In the morning they discovered someone had stolen several items while they were sleeping, she said.

“The most valuable thing they took was a set of Bose speakers worth about $400,” said Harrison. “They probably only took off what what they could carry. The condiments and child toys were left behind.”

Harrison and her husband considered packing up and going home but decided to purchase additional supplies and celebrate her birthday anyhow.

In the wake of the alleged theft, Yellowknife RCMP is urging the public to exercise caution as they visit campsites over the summer.

“In general, camping security should be viewed like home and auto safety,” stated Marie York-Condon, communications officer with the RCMP in an emailed statement. “Secure valuable items. Don’t leave anything of value in plain sight. Lock doors if available.”

Only one theft at Fred Henne was reported to police last year, she stated.

Officials with NWT Parks confirmed that Fred Henne is monitored twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week by security staff.

“Fred Henne staff make rounds throughout the evening to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and unauthorized guests,” stated Mike Westwick, spokesperson for the Department of Indusrty, Tourism and Investment. “Parks officers are also on duty in the evenings doing periodic checks.”

According to Westwick, there are an average of four incidents of theft at the park reported to officials every year.

“Most of the time coolers and alcohol,” stated Westwick.