Hide store owner calls for return of missing mitts, mukluks

The owner of a Winnipeg hide shop is hoping for some compassion from thieves who made off with mukluks, mitts and his laptop.

Items were stolen from Manitoba Buckskin early Wednesday morning

Carl Froese hopes someone recognizes and returns these mitts and mukluks to him at Manitoba Buckskin. (Submitted by Carl Froese)

The owner of a Winnipeg hide shop is calling for the return of some stolen sentimental mukluks and mittens.  

When Carl Froese of Manitoba Buckskin got to work early Wednesday morning, he noticed someone had jimmied open the back door to his store on Spruce Street. 

"I've got buffalo hides and a muskox and some buffalo skulls and a piece of elk hide and some deer leather … oh and a whole stack of moose rawhides, but that pair of mitts and mukluks were too beautiful for them to pass up," said Froese. 

His work laptop, worth about $900, was also taken, he said. But the mukluks and mitts were priceless. 

"Those were entirely irreplaceable, so that's the hardest hit. Those have been in our family for a long time and that was the shocker that I'm struggling with right now," he said. 

The moose-hide beaded mukluks were made by his grandmother in the 1970s in northern Alberta. She was a Mennonite immigrant to Canada, after fleeing the Russian Revolution in the 1920s, he said. 

Indigenous women she worked with in Northern Alberta in the '60s and '70s taught her to sew, work with hides and do the beadwork on the mukluks, he said. 
Froese sewed the beadwork onto his deerskin mitts. (Submitted by Carl Froese)

Froese's mitts were made of deerskin, the first animal he shot with an arrow. They, too, had intricate beadwork. 

"Personally, it's real meaningful, so that is the tragedy of this whole event. Some of the other things that disappeared, I could hardly not care about, but those things are pretty meaningful," he said. 

The mukluks were hand-made by his grandmother, who was taught by Indigenous women in Northern Alberta. (Submitted by Carl Froese)

The crowbar the thieves used to break in was also left behind, which he said the police are going to examine for fingerprints. 

He's filed a police report, but hopes the sentimental items are returned.

"I'd like those back! Just those mitts and those [mukluks]. If anyone sees that, then that's the jackpot."