Bashaw RCMP Sgt. Bruce Holliday is hoping the message will get through to people in the area that theives are targeting rural areas because it has been too easy to steal items.                                File photo

Bashaw RCMP Sgt. Bruce Holliday is hoping the message will get through to people in the area that theives are targeting rural areas because it has been too easy to steal items. File photo

Property crime not letting up in Bashaw and area

Rural residences still getting hit by theives, people urged to lock up and take the keys away

The problem of property crime continues to rise in the Bashaw area and the RCMP want the public to understand they can do something to help them out.

Sgt. Bruce Holliday, commander of the Bashaw detachment, explained in an interview late last week that officers have recently been dispatched to a high number of rural residences to conduct break, enter and theft investigations.

“The suspects in all of these incidents have targeted a number of properties where they took a variety of items that were all easy to steal and likely to either be used to commit other offenses or sold for other reasons,” he stated.

The items included various types of tools and equipment along with all-terrain vehicles plus, most concerning of all, firearms.

“In one instance, a firearm was discharged by a suspect or suspects with a projectile entering a farmhouse on the property,” Holliday said, noting no one was injured and the homeowner found the bullet in a kitchen wall after noticing a window was broken.

“It has not been determined the reason for the discharge of the firearm, but all residents are reminded that caution must be exercised in confronting any suspects in the interest of public safety and that RCMP must be engaged as soon as possible in relation to any incidents.”

Holliday added that in many of the thefts, only the keys to the ATV’s were stolen. That means the suspects may wind up coming back later, so the property owners were urged to take preventative measures just to be cautious. He then reiterated some comments that he has made many times in the past year when speaking about crime in the region.

“The Bashaw RCMP reminds all residents to do their part in crime prevention by removing keys from all vehicles, securing property by locking residences, shops and outbuildings,” he said.

“The public is reminded to report any suspicious activity to their local RCMP detachment. The Bashaw RCMP is working with our neighbouring detachment partners in an attempt to identify any of these suspects.”

He also urged anyone that has any information about the above incidents or any other crimes in the area, they are asked to please contact the Bashaw RCMP at (780) 372-3793. Should the person want to remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). The call is never recorded, no names are taken and the information provided may qualify for a reward.