Photos on social media on Saturday morning showed severe damage to a Marie’s Mini Mart on Conception Bay South. (Submitted)

Recent public health orders locking the province off ensured a relatively quiet night for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary – until 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, when an alarm went off at a shop in Conception Bay South.

Upon arrival, the police discovered “major damage” to the front of the building. There was an abandoned front loader nearby.

The RNC did not identify the company in this latest incident, but pictures on social media showed serious damage at a Marie’s Mini Mart in Manuels in CBS

A series of unsolved thefts

This is not the first time heavy equipment has been used in a break-in in northeast Avalon.

A number of heavy equipment vandalism and theft have occurred in recent years. In several incidents, including in drug stores, grocery stores, and banks, such devices have been used to break through walls, often with the obvious aim of removing ATMs inside.

In two such cases, charges were brought against different people, however In both cases the fees were dropped for lack of evidence or the possibility of conviction, most recently last September in the case of an excavator carved through the wall of the Dominion store on Blackmarsh Road, and the theft of over $ 5,000 in drugs and narcotics.

After the damage caused by the attempted break-in at the Conception Bay South store, the room was cleaned up on Saturday afternoon. (CBC)

The investigators left with a heavy lift

The series of smash-and-grabs sparked a debate in the St. John area about the safety of idle construction equipment.

In many cases, loaders or backhoe loaders were taken from nearby construction sites prior to the robbery.

No arrests have been made for the early morning break-in on Saturday.

The investigation is still ongoing.

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