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Somebody is stealing female mannequins in Belleville, police say

Police in Belleville, Ont., say 11 mannequins — all female — have been stolen from downtown storefronts in the last three months.

Thief made no attempt to take cash or merchandise — only mannequins, boutique owner says

A mannequin stands in a Toronto boutique clothing store. Police say 11 female mannequins have been stolen in the last three months from Belleville, Ont., stores. (The Canadian Press)

Police in Belleville, Ont., are asking the public to help solve a rash of thefts of female mannequins from downtown store fronts — including one case in which a $160 prom dress was torn off the mannequin and left behind.

A news release from police said 11 mannequins — all female — have been stolen since May, during five break and enters and one attempted break and enter at three different locations. 

In each of the five break-ins, police said only female mannequins have been taken.
The door of Simple Elegance after the theft of two mannequins. (courtesy of Dawn ODell)

It began on Mother's Day weekend with a failed attempt to get into Simple Elegance, boutique owner Dawn ODell told CBC News.

"The glass on the front door was broke. Not broke quite all the way through but it was shattered but still intact," she said.

Police came to investigate but the window was not repaired right away, and when ODell got to work on Monday morning she found the break-in job had been finished and two female mannequins missing from the display window.

"One mannequin had a $160 prom dress on. They ripped it off and threw it on the floor and just took the mannequin," she said. "The second mannequin had a dress on it, a $60 dress, and they left the dress on that one and took the mannequin. And that's it. There was no attempt made to get to the cash register, to the merchandise in the store, or anything."

Her store on Front Street was hit again on June 23, with the theft of two more mannequins — one in a bikini, the other in a dress. ODell said the thefts of mannequins and their clothes have set her back approximately $600. 

She said police told her, "It looks to be somebody has a fetish for mannequins."

4 torsos stolen on Sunday

Mannequins have been stolen from two other stores, according to police.

Another store on Front Street was broken into overnight on May 13 and one mannequin was stolen.

​The latest two break-ins occurred at a business on North Front Street.

On July 14 at 2:30 a.m. ET the store's front door window was smashed and two display mannequins were stolen, police said.

On Sunday, July 24 the front door window of the same business was again smashed and four female torso mannequins were stolen.

​Police could not be reached for comment on the motivation or possible suspects in the crime, but asked for the public's help in the case in a news release.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Det.-Const. Terri Smith of the Belleville Police Service at (613) 966-0882 ext. 2228 and/or Quinte Crimestoppers at 1-800- 222-TIPS.