Social media comes to Cape Breton woman's rescue

Woman uses Facebook to help track her stolen truck across the province


Published on April 18, 2017

Monique MacMullin used social media to track her stolen truck from Sydney to Antigonish and back again.

©Facebook Photo

SYDNEY, N.S. — The owners of a stolen truck used the power of social media to track an alleged thief’s travels from a downtown parking lot, across eastern Nova Scotia, to his inevitable apprehension at the end of a high-speed police chase.

The adventure began Saturday morning when Monique MacMullin’s F150 truck was taken from the parking lot at Master Auto Care on George Street in Sydney.

She filed a report with police and then made a plea for its return on Facebook.

“I posted it on every group I could possibly get it on, between Cape Breton Buy and Sell, Cape Breton Police Scanner to Halifax Buy and Sell,” said MacMullin.

“It was definitely a help. The fact that my truck was very distinguishing (also helped). The colour, an Ascendo sticker in the back window. People looked for that.”

After the posting, sightings poured in from across the province.

“A friend of mine was driving back from Halifax and passed my truck going to Antigonish at five o’clock on Sunday evening.”

A report also came in from New Glasgow that same night. The truck was spotted in Lake Ainslie earlier in the weekend.

“My daughter got a message from a friend Saturday evening. They were at the house and it said ‘is this your mom’s truck?’ The guy took my truck up there, was driving on the rims and asked for help.”

When a spare tire could not be removed, those assisting the alleged thief suggested calling a tow truck. At that point the truck sped off.

Cape Breton Regional Police and RCMP were also tracking the vehicle all weekend and made a positive identification at about 3 p.m. Monday, when it was spotted on Welton Street heading towards Grand Lake Road.

Regional police caught up with the vehicle on Grand Lake Road and made attempts to stop the driver, who continued onto Gardiner Road at a high rate of speed.

Officers stopped pursuit of the vehicle but continued to follow behind at a safe distance, onto Seaside Drive towards Dominion.

Police lost sight of the vehicle for a short time, and continued to patrol Dominion and New Waterford areas, locating a man who matched the description of the driver at a residence on Warburton Road.

They then placed him under arrest.

Eric Gordon Fraser, 28, was later remanded to the Cape Breton Correctional Centre until a scheduled court appearance on Tuesday. No additional information was available from the court Tuesday afternoon.

Fraser was charged with possession of property — a stolen vehicle obtained by crime — dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from police, resisting arrest and a breach of probation.

A K-9 team was called to the scene and located MacMullin’s truck in a wooded area off the end of Warburton Road.

Unfortunately, MacMullin has been told it would be cheaper to replace than fix her truck.

While very upset by that news, she’s grateful for all the assistance people gave in helping her to get her truck back.

“The whole social media thing … if it is used in the right way it can be an awesome tool,” she said.

“There’s a lot of support out there that were watching for that truck. I had people message me saying ‘I drove behind your truck.’ I knew where my truck was pretty much every 12 hours.”

 

gmcneil@cbpost.com