RCMP in Pincher Creek dealt with an uptick in property crime during the month of September, particularly in the outlying areas.
“People are going in and checking rural properties that, maybe, aren’t occupied all the time. Going into shops, outbuildings, and then stealing vehicles and equipment,” Sgt. Ryan Hodge tells Shootin’ the Breeze.
One of the targets last month was summer cabins.
“I think it’s a little bit the time of the year. People with seasonal properties here are typically closing up or leaving for the year, but it’s also just a matter of having certain criminals coming into our area who are looking for opportunities, Hodge continues.
“Definitely watch for suspicious vehicles or people, of course, checking out properties, coming in and out of places where they normally wouldn’t be. Most of our rural residents and ranchers know who belongs where and if it seems suspicious, give us a call and we’ll try to follow up as best we can.”
RCMP believe most thefts can be prevented with a couple of simple rules.
“The biggest thing is keeping things locked up, keys out of vehicles and valuables secured somewhere,” Hodge says.
For rural property owners, he believes good lighting is always a deterrent for a thief.
“A lot of people like the cover of darkness, so if you were to remove that, they’re less likely to be there.”
Another suggestion is video surveillance.
“Video cameras have come so far in the last few years. They are a real benefit to us,” Hodge says.
“A lot of the time when we are figuring out who our suspects are, some kind of recording, like a doorbell camera or other security camera, or even somebody taking a picture on a phone, helps us to identify the person.”
A list of prevention strategies from Alberta RCMP can be viewed online at bit.ly/3PRppuE.
As always, if you see something suspicious, RCMP encourage you to call.
If you see a crime in progress, you’re asked to dial 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, go online to P3Tips.com, or download the P3 Tips mobile app.