Nova Scotia Mounties have busted a break-and-enter ring responsible for stealing more than $500,000 in property.

Police say they have charged three people in connection with a series of break-ins and thefts that started in January and targeted homes in Lunenburg, Halifax, and Hants counties.

 “Based on the work of RCMP investigators and RCMP crime analysts, information suggested these crimes were connected,” the RCMP said in a news release.

RCMP street crime units from Lunenburg County, Halifax and Windsor joined with the Windsor general investigation section in a joint investigation brought the charges within a month of starting their investigation. 

Police say more than 100 items were stolen, including a vehicle, speed boat, trailer, tires and power tools.

Mounties searched a Halifax business and a Hubbards residence as part of the investigation and several stolen items linked to the break, enter and thefts throughout the various counties were seized.

The three people face a combined 47 charges. They are:

Nicholas John Mitchell, 39, of Hubbards, has been charged with the following:

  • 11 counts of break and enter
  • six counts of mischief
  • six counts of trespassing at night
  • possession of break-in instruments
  • five counts of theft
  • 10 counts of possession of stolen property

Darlene Marie MacAulay, 46, of Tantallon, has been charged with the following:

  • mischief
  • four counts of theft
  • possession of stolen property

Andrew Stewart Ritchie, 42, of Hatchett Lake has been charged with two counts of possession of stolen property.

“Throughout the past eight months, RCMP investigators were able to draw upon a number of resources and experts to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion,” says Insp. Rob Bell, Operations East, Halifax District said in a news release.

“Every day citizens report thefts and suspicious activity to police and I want to acknowledge that throughout this investigation, these calls greatly assisted our investigators.”

Mitchell has been remanded and was scheduled to appear at Halifax Provincial Court on Monday, Windsor Provincial Court on Dec. 11, and Lunenburg Provincial Court on Dec. 19.

MacAulay was released on a recognizance and is scheduled to appear in Lunenburg Provincial Court on Jan. 9, 2019 and Halifax Provincial Court on Feb. 14, 2019.

Ritchie is scheduled to appear in Halifax Provincial Court on Feb. 12, 2019.