Rash of thefts hit Pippy Park campground

Police in St. John's are looking for three suspects believed to be responsible for a series of robberies at a popular campground in the heart of the city.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says thieves have been stealing items from people camping at Pippy Park over the last two weeks. More than 20 cases have been reported, with items ranging from bicycles to goods swiped from cars.

Sgt. Shawn O'Reilly said that while theft in Pippy Park is not common, the park is not necessarily as tranquil as people believe.

"Even though Pippy Park is a beautiful park, when you're in there you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere but you're right in the middle of an urban environment," he told CBC News. "It's unfortunate that thefts like this occur from time to time."

Pippy Park's campground is surrounded by brush and trees, although campers can reach Long Pond and Memorial University's campus as well as the Confederation Building within a matter of minutes on foot. The park is also popular with city residents because of its trails and golf course.

The park is also bordered by some of the busiest roads in St. John's.

O'Reilly said police have already narrowed down the search to three suspects, two of whom are men. One man, in his 30s, has an arm fully covered in tattoos and short dark hair. The second, in his early 20s, has a goatee, very short hair and stands about 5'6".

"The female is average height and weight with dirty blonde hair. So that's the only description we have right now of potential suspects," O'Reilly said.

Pippy Park, which is already staffed around-the-clock, has stepped up its security patrols, and RNC officers are also paying more attention to the park during their own patrols.

O'Reilly said campers should still take extra precautions during their stay.

"Don't leave your bikes or anything unattended while you're asleep inside your camper. Take your valuables out of your vehicle and bring them inside your camper with you," he said, adding that extra chains and locks would also be useful for items that may attract a thief.

With files from Adam Walsh

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