Crime, for the most part, can be prevented

Lots of strategies to prevent theft, vandalism, break and enter

I receive every press release sent out by RCMP K Division every day of the week. The way K Division does it, I’m sure, is to simplify press releases: every press release is sent to every media person in Alberta, regardless of location.

Several of the press releases discussed the ongoing issue of rural crime, specifically theft and break and enter. There have been plenty of local instances as well, including home invasion robberies, construction equipment stolen and trespassing into people’s yards by sketchy individuals.

The Fort Macleod RCMP, down by Lethbridge, released this information:

“Since mid July Fort Macleod RCMP have responded to and are investigating several rural break and enters to residences. The suspect(s) appear to know that no one is home, and either find an open door, or force entry to the residence.

“Once inside the suspect quickly goes through the house, stealing electronics, cash, and other valuable items which are easily accessible. We would like to remind all homeowners to ensure doors and windows are locked, which may deter an attempt to enter the residence. In addition, it is beneficial to record serial numbers on any electronics or other valuable items inside the residence as this will help police track and hopefully locate stolen items.

“Be on the look out for suspicious vehicles, and people knocking on doors or going onto property in rural areas. Suspect(s) may be using a ploy or cover story when knocking on doors or entering properties to check if anyone is home.”

You’d be surprised, even in Wetaskiwin, recently named the most dangerous city in Alberta, how many people leave their vehicles or homes unlocked and then are shocked that someone rifled through or entered to steal property.

It’s summertime, and lots of people are away on vacation. Remember, when you go away, leave lights on to make it look like someone is there and get someone to pick up your mail. A full, overflowing mailbox tells everyone there’s no one home.

The Rosebrier and other rural crime watches recently developed a series of videos specifically geared towards small town and rural people to reduce or prevent crime.

Many of the rural crime watch videos include good advice for preventing theft and break and enter, and some seem obvious, such as not leaving keys in unlocked vehicles. However, it’s part of rural culture to do things like that, so it may not be as obvious to rural residents.

Rural crime watch videos also include good advice on things like counterfeit money, elder abuse and telephone fraud, just to name a few.

Videos can be viewed online at https://www.ruralcrimewatch.ab.ca/resources/videos-media/archive-videos.

Stu Salkeld is editor of the Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.

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