sequins2Clarence Shecapio arrived to an unpleasant surprise when he opened the door to Sequins, the Nemaska convenience and grocery store he owns with his wife Cindy Coonishish. Sometime between midnight and 5 am on May 23, the back window was smashed and a variety of groceries and packaged goods were stolen. The thefts included eggs, bacon, bread, candy, freezies, chips, iced teas and a few hundred packs of cigarettes.

While the cigarettes represent Sequin’s biggest monetary loss, the owners are more upset with the breach of trust within the community and the lack of respect shown by whoever is responsible for the break-in.

“You just feel angry and disappointed,” Coonishish told the Nation. “You work so hard to keep [your business] open and provide the service for the community. I just hope that we will see a return; anyone who might know what happened can give information. It’s a lot of money and it’s a private business. What we make is what we use to pay to keep it going.”

Coonishish told the Nation that they were unsure how many people were involved in the crime but that an investigation is ongoing. While Coonishish “heard a few names floating around” she was adamant that rumours are just rumours until they’re proven in court.

Youth Grand Chief and Nemaska resident Joshua Iserhoff was also upset about the incident. He told the Nation there is speculation in the community that the perpetrators were a group of local young people.

“Several people have been mentioned and some people have come forward and revealed some other names, the rest is up to the police,” said Iserhoff.

Coonishish noted that Sequins was already in the process of increasing security measures. She and her husband had considered installing metal bars around windows but didn’t like the idea because of the image it projected on Nemaska. Unfortunately, it’s doubtful that insurance will cover the damages or the stolen goods since no security system was in place.

“When we first opened we were debating whether or not to cage the windows but we didn’t want to do that,” related Coonishish. “You’re saying something about your community and it’s not a nice thing. But now, I don’t know.”

Coonishish said they were already gathering information on security systems and had asked a few companies for prices but that the culprits beat them to the punch. “We’re going to be installing security cameras now. Maybe a few bear traps too,” she laughed.