Bashaw RCMP remain busy investigating stolen vehicles found in the Alix area.
Sgt. Bruce Holliday told Bashaw town council July 20 during the regular meeting that investigators continue to find vehicles, reported stolen from other municipalities, in Alix.
“The ironic thing here is we’re not having a lot of vehicles stolen here (in the area), but we’re having a lot of stolen vehicles dropped here,” said Holliday.
His hope is to educate the public and residents on the importance of locking their doors. Holliday has attended several crime prevention events, hosted by the Bashaw RCMP detachment, and he says invariably there are vehicles unlocked.
Holliday checks the doors before making his presentations and uses that as an educational tool. Even at a recent rural crime watch presentation he noted doors were unlocked.
The stolen vehicles that have been located are predominantly out of Lacombe County, Red Deer County and Innisfail areas. Holliday is working on deterrence measures but is also working with other detachments to investigate these vehicle thefts. Seeing that vehicles are abandoned in the Alix area isn’t believed to be a coincidence.
One recent issue the detachment faced is the theft of thousands of dollars worth of batteries from highway equipment near Bashaw.
Holliday said dozens of batteries were taken from heavy duty equipment on Highway 21 and with a value of a couple hundred dollars per battery, the loss is costly. He added that theft also further delayed the construction project for some time while crews had to locate and transport new batteries.
Anyone with information on this incident can call Crime Stoppers. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by internet at www.tipsubmit.com. You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers, and if you provide information to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest(s), you may be eligible for a cash reward.
Downtown cameras assist in suspect identification
One of the benefits of the CCTV cameras in the downtown area is they helped RCMP identify a suspect in an alleged smashed window incident.
Holliday says that while it was dark, the footage was enough and now investigators are working on completing the investigation.
The detachment is at a full complement with a new recruit expected by the end of the month.
When they arrive, Holliday, says the cadet will be trained by the Mountie he is replacing. “Part of our succession planning is to get a new recruit trained up,” said Holliday.
Along with the deterrence and crime prevention initiatives the detachment is hosting two other programs: traffic safety and the RCMP’s habitual offender program.
The latter is a big push for the RCMP nationally. “It’s something the RCMP feels important,” said Holliday.
Much of the time RCMP deal with the same repeat offenders. Holliday says the program is intended to find a way to help individuals who don’t seem able to make lifestyle changes that get them out of the legal system.
Holliday suggests there are a variety of reasons for this such as mental health challenges, addictions or job placement. The program deals with these individuals in the hopes it will get them out of a negative lifestyle.
As for traffic safety, Mounties continue to educate and enforce traffic rules.