Thompson RCMP have issued an arrest warrant for Michael James Schwartz, 30, co-owner of Schwartz Bros Construction Limited on Cree Road, on charges of theft over $5,000 and multiple counts of possession of property obtained by crime and possession of the proceeds from crime in connection with the theft of four bundles of nickel plates valued at $110,000 from Vale's Thompson smelter in mid-May, Cpl. Miles Hiebert, a media relations spokesperson for RCMP "D" Division in Winnipeg, said July 30.
The nickel plates stolen are described as being approximately 20" by 36" in size, nickel in colour, and stamped on both sides with "VALE" and "INCO."
RCMP have been looking for Michael Schwartz, who co-owns Schwartz Bros Construction Limited with his brother, Grant, for more than a month. Originally, working in the residential market, Schwartz Bros. has diversified to both industrial and commercial markets, specializing in the concrete industry and the installation and welding of structural steel.
Schwartz's mother, Brigitte Schwartz, told the Thompson Citizen July 5 her son, Michael, had never been missing at that point and had simply gone on vacation and had told at least some people about his plans before he left town in late June. Brigitte Schwartz said it was his girlfriend who called police and reported him missing.
She said she July 5 she was going to ask the Thompson RCMP to put out a statement saying her son was not missing.
Schwartz is described as being Caucasian, 5'11" tall and weighing 220 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen late afternoon in Thompson on June 24. The following day, Schwartz was reported to police as a missing person and an investigation was initiated in an effort to locate him, Hiebert said July 30, adding " Thompson RCMP have since issued a warrant for his arrest."
Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is asked to call the Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or their local police agency.
Schwartz may have been driving a blue 2012 Dodge Charger bearing Manitoba licence plate GPL 487 when he disappeared near the end of June, policy say.
The RCMP are also seeking vehicle, a flatbed truck. "The RCMP is seeking information on a vehicle of interest in this matter," Sgt. Line Karpish, also a media relations spokesperson for RCMP "D" Division in Winnipeg, said June 13. Police have distributed a grainy black-and-white surveillance photo of a flatbed truck taken from a fixed camera position, showing it carrying what appear to be bundles.
Karpish said Thompson RCMP were notified of the theft at 11:30 a.m. May 14, 2013, and were told the incident had happened overnight.
Vale employees and contractors for the company were interviewed at RCMP detachment headquarters in the Public Safety Building at 122 Selkirk Ave. in early June.