By Cole Parkinson
The amount of stolen vehicles in the M.D. of Taber has seen a rise in the past few months and local authorities are asking people to take better steps to prevent it from happening.
While stolen vehicles are always a concern, the number of stolen cars has been steadily climbing in the M.D.
The local RCMP detachment says that they are seeing the crime migrate from cities to smaller more rural areas, hence the spike in number of thefts.
“Stats show from January of last year we had 10 stolen vehicles from January to August and this year 2017 January to August we’ve had 21. It’s up quite a bit so basically more crime coming from the cities now. A little bit more into the rural areas is what we’re seeing,” said Cst. Justin Buit of the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP.
One of the targets seems to be farmers who leave keys in their vehicle as they travel from field to field.
The RCMP wants to remind people to take their keys out of the vehicle anytime they leave for an amount of time.
“They are able to find the keys in the vehicle somewhere whether they are under the visor or under the floor matt or something. We’ve had a lot of farmers who do that because they’re going field to field so they they say ‘I’m just going to leave my vehicle here temporarily’ so they leave the keys in them so they don’t lose them. Basically we’re telling them to take the keys out of the vehicles and make sure they’re locked up because it’s more a crime of opportunity. If the doors are unlocked they’re going to look for loose change, if they find keys great but if not they just move on to the next one,” said Cst. Buit. “If there is any valuables that have serial numbers just record them in a log book so we can track it. If there is no serial number it’s hard for us to track down. For firearms, make sure those are taken out, we’ve seen a few firearms stolen and they were left in the backs of vehicles.”
More patrols throughout the M.D. of Taber are a goal for the RCMP but they say they need the public to be smart when parking and leaving their cars.
“We’re trying to get out to communities and if we see anything we’ll let the public know,” said Buit. “We’re trying to get out for more patrols but we can only do so much. It’s up to the communities to make sure they are taking the proper steps to ensure their safety.”