Bridgewater residents among trio accused of breaking into local community halls, churches, businesses

by Keith Corcoran

Churches in Petite Riviere and North River, along with community halls in Lapland and Maplewood, were among places allegedly victimized by break-ins involving a man and a woman from Lunenburg County and a man from Colchester County.

Vanessa Rose Rines, 21, and Tristan John Russell, 23, of Bridgewater, along with Truro resident Tristan Gary Burns, 25, are each facing a slew of charges associated with crimes allegedly committed over the course of July in Lunenburg and Queens Counties.

Each is charged with breaking into the Drew's Hill Road Wesley United Church in Petite Riviere, and the United church in North River and committing the indictable offence of theft.

The trio are also charged with the same allegation related to Rissers Canteen store and Beach Side Pizza, both off Highway 331 in Crescent Beach. Police also suspect they broke into MacLeod's Canteen in the nearby community of Green Bay.

It's alleged Russell, Rines, and Burns committed a break-in and theft at the Lapland fire hall and community centre, and at the community museum in Maplewood.

Each is charged with break-ins with intent to commit theft connected to community centres in North River and Maplewood. During an apparent break-in into the service station off Highway 325 in Newcombville, the three are accused of having their faces concealed.

The remaining counts against them include arson to a Honda Civic belonging to a Lapland resident, and trespassing at night on a Petite Riviere property and stealing a woman's Kia Soul.

Meanwhile, Russell and Burns are accused of break-ins with intent into a baptist church in Kempt and community hall in South Brookfield.

Only Russell is charged with trespass at night in relation to a New Germany property and stealing a woman's 2005 Ford Focus there.

The other offences against Burns are all vehicle-related.

He alone is accused of stealing a GMC Sierra from Branch LaHave, Honda Civics from New Germany and Kempt, and a 2012 Subaru Outback from Conquerall Bank. He's charged with trespass at night in all of those alleged occurrences. The sole charges out of Bridgewater are against Burns; flight from police and dangerous driving from July 22.

RCMP said in a July 30 news release that authorities allege the arrests are connected to a recent rash of business break-in's and motor vehicle thefts throughout Lunenburg, Queens and Shelburne Counties.

Police said three people were arrested July 25; two of them in Halifax, one in Bridgewater. A home off North Street in Bridgewater was searched by law enforcement personnel the following day.

"Police seized stolen property from several of the locations that had been victimized, as well as some clothing that had been worn during the commission of the offences," RCMP said. "Two stolen vehicles were also recovered ..."

The cases against the trio, who were remanded into custody last week, are proceeding through the legal system.

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