Whitehorse Daily Star

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DIGS HAVE DISAPPEARED – Whitehorse RCMP are investigating the recent pilfering of this newly built cabin from the Fish Lake Road area. Its owner is distraught over the blatant theft.

Woman suffers ‘devastating’ theft of her cabin

The dream of home ownership takes many forms.

By Stephanie Waddell on October 10, 2014

The dream of home ownership takes many forms.

For some, it may be a modern condo downtown; for others, an acreage with lots of space. For still others, it may be the suburban ideal of a bungalow and a yard.

For most, that dream isn’t suddenly ripped away just as it becomes real.

But that’s exactly what happened to Josie-Anne Pilotte.

Her home-ownership dream was a cabin – a small, 200-square-foot structure she had built with her own hands and the help of a few others over a three-week period.

Her dream was nearly complete, the structure built on a mining claim near Fish Lake Road, but when she and her friends came to move it to the friends’ property last Saturday, it was gone.

“I just wanted a little spot for me,” Pilotte said in an interview Thursday, explaining that she often housesits and was just looking to build a little place as a home base.

While one friend let her build it on skids at their mining claim in the Fish Lake Road area, another was ready to allow her to place it on their property once it had been built.

Since about the end of July, Pilotte had been working on the cabin with some help along the way, spending thousands of dollars on materials, going out to the site every two or three days.

She had planned to move it on Sept. 30, but, given the snowfall that day, plans were changed to last weekend instead.

She and her friends arrived last Sunday, and Pilotte was shocked to find an empty site. Nothing was there but a few items ­– insulation, roofing supplies and the like – which had been inside the cabin.

Whoever was there would have had to dismantle it, including taking out windows, Pilotte said. The thieves would have also had to have a flatbed truck to move the disassembled cabin.

“They were prepared,” she said.

As she stated in a Star advertisement looking for information: “The loss is devastating. All of my extra time and money went into this cabin, so I offer a reward if my cabin is returned.”

In addition to getting the word out in local media and neighbouring property owners in the area, including Icy Waters and ATCO Yukon Electric, Pilotte has reported the matter to Whitehorse RCMP.

Const. Dean Hoogland confirmed Thursday afternoon police are continuing their investigation into the case.

Comments (15)

Up 2 Down 1

brand. d. on Jan 19, 2015 at 3:41 pm

( While one friend let her build it on skids at their mining claim in the Fish Lake Road area, another was ready to allow her to place it on their property once it had been built ). ------ if her friend own this property then if the government stole or dismantled it they are in violation. I don't give a flying funk if you are in America or Canada, if you own a property then you should be able do with it as you please. if a crook dismantled or stole this .. shame on you. I hope and pray to god you get caught and thrown in jail to think about your stupidity.

Up 2 Down 4

Ralph on Jan 17, 2015 at 7:44 pm

Effing parasites! Jail for life! Dregs of mankind!!

Up 6 Down 4

David V. Webber on Oct 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Why don't we start a fund to to get her at least the materials replaced, if not a new , ( better ? ) house built ? I am on $ 786 / Month Social Security , with thousands in medical bills , but I would gladly donate a minimum of $ 20 .
David V. Webber

Up 2 Down 3

Matt on Oct 17, 2014 at 9:56 am

I had a small old farm house stolen from me. One weekend it was there sitting on a stone foundation, the next there were drag marks across the grass to the road and it was gone. It was small, old and a wreck, but it was mine, not theirs. I have had other thefts too. It was speculated at the time that the house was stolen to be used as materials to build a hunt camp. Josie-Anne's cabin was far more ready-made for that purpose. My house is now likely miles into the bush somewhere, never to be seen again, except by the thieves. The Yukon has a lot more empty space than most places.

I think this has less to do with hunters and more to do with what happens off the paved roads. Anything not impossible to steal, will likely be stolen, eventually. No doubt this scum is a small minority, but, with no one getting caught ever, it never ends. The good rural people come to understand the realities of this, but do not mistake this for acceptance or any capacity for forgiveness, ever. Eventually someone will see and recognize that cabin and report it. The scum will see they have no friends. It is hard to live off the paved roads when everyone knows who you are, thieving scum, and you have no friends. I hope the thieving scum keep this in mind and leaves the cabin somewhere to be found, intact.

Up 19 Down 7

YTer on Oct 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Everyone is assuming it was stolen. It will be interesting to see if it was removed by the gov as it was an illegal structure.
We have regs for a reason, otherwise there would be squatter shacks everwhere. If it was the gov that removed it, I imagine we will hear about it, and she will be able to get it back. I can't imagine thieves took it, that's a lot of work, and vandals would have burned or wrecked it.

Up 25 Down 23

Yukoner 2 on Oct 14, 2014 at 8:41 am

@ Mark Smart Try to stay on topic there and not take away from the person that lost their home.

Up 18 Down 24

Francias Pillman on Oct 13, 2014 at 9:48 pm

We are not being told both sides here. People don't just steal cabins. Maybe get all the facts before sensationalizing stories.

Up 31 Down 34

Mark Smart on Oct 13, 2014 at 11:38 am

I agree this is not something which would have happened years ago. I hope the people who did this are caught and made to replace the structure.
The lack of general enforcement in Yukon facilitates the common criminal. And there are far too many of these people living here.
Lets start with agressive driving and people running red lights way too often. There is still far too much impaired driving here. People driving recreation vehicles act like they are on a race track and they trespass and remove costly city signage.

How many times have you seen erratic driving even in the morning which suggests impairment from the night before.
Lets get tough on petty crime and get this home back to its owner.

Up 31 Down 2

BushPilot on Oct 12, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Check with local Energy Mines and Resources Branch. They have been known to remove and/or burn/destroy buildings that they deem to be in contravention of their rules, without consulting with the claim or trap-line owner. I really hope that the people (It is unlikely that it was only one individual) responsible for this are caught and face the maximum sentence allowed by the law.

Up 43 Down 10

BnR on Oct 12, 2014 at 6:10 am

Feel bad for her, but, it's a mining claim, and these are not the same as titled land with respect to what you can and can't do on them. A few years ago, there was a fellow who set up a mobile home on a quartz claim at the junction of the Alcan and the Mayo road. It was removed as it was illegal. You can live there while you work on the claim, but it's not intended for permanent residency. Mining claims are sub surface rights only.

Up 29 Down 5

Debbie Knight on Oct 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm

I have not lived here long but I have learned this is not the Yukon way. I do not understand people that can do these things and not feel anything about what they have done. Why? Josie obviously put a lot into her home. Why would anyone take that from her or anyone else? I do hope that maybe, the person(s) who did this think again and at least tell where her home can be found. This is not how Yukoners treat Yukoners.

Up 34 Down 4

short list of people who would do this on Oct 11, 2014 at 10:19 am

Somebody with at least basic carpentry skills but probably better than basic, to whom this theft would be 'worth it', criminally minded (a history of scamming and/or theft), probably lives nearby but not neccessarily. Has a truck, time, maybe a friend to help. Needs a structure to live in, for storage, to rent out, who knows. But there would be a short list of people who would do something like this, and who have the tools and location to do it.

Up 33 Down 2

Fishwitch on Oct 11, 2014 at 2:45 am

My heart goes out to Josie..whom I know personally...poor girl..she is a wonderful person who would give you the shirt off her back..and to hear this horrible news of the theft...her dream stolen from her...it sickens me to know that the theives are amongst us..what goes around comes around...I hope they are prepared for karma....small town guys...its just a matter of time....tick tock

Up 18 Down 43

June Jackson on Oct 10, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Welcome to Whitehorse.

Up 50 Down 3

mhamm on Oct 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Who the f**k is ignorant enough to do something like this?! I thought I was reading the headline wrong at first, but no someone actually stole a whole cabin. This woman put her blood, sweat and tears into building herself a home and some lazy, self-righteous bum comes and pulls the whole thing away? I hate to believe that a Yukoner would actually do this, I sincerely hope you get your home back Josie-Anne. Not to mention find out who took it. Best of luck.

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