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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 06:00 am

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Police seek shooter

Morinville RCMP are looking for the public’s help to find out who shot a bullet at a local home earlier this month.

Sgt. Mark Mathias briefed town council on the shooting at last week’s meeting.

Last Jan. 4 at about 7 p.m., police got a call from a residence on the edge of the town in Sunshine Estates. Upon arrival, they found a “large calibre bullet” had apparently struck the front of the house, punched through and ended up inside the home. The two adults in the home were uninjured.

While police don’t know for sure where the shot originated, they believe it likely came from quite a ways out of town, Mathias said in an interview.

“There’s no evidence at this time indicating this was a targeted shooting,” Mathias said.

Police suspect the incident may have been accidental and have no suspects at this time. Shootings are very rare in Morinville, he added.

Mathias urged all residents to keep safety in mind when handling firearms, as a missed shot can travel great distances.

“You always have to be careful of where you point a loaded gun,” he said.

Anyone with information on this shooting should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Please report thefts from cars

Mathias also asked residents to step up with reporting crimes in order to help stop a rise in thefts from cars.

Morinville has had a spike in thefts from cars recently, with about 15 to 20 reported in the last three months on various nights, Mathias told council. He suspects that there were many more thefts that were not reported.

“The vast majority of vehicles that have been broken into were unlocked and unsecured,” Mathias noted, suggesting that the thief (or thieves) may be targeting unlocked cars.

Many also had valuables such as wallets or cash left in the open, he continued.

“Those, again, are very tempting to criminals.”

A thief can hit half a dozen cars in a few minutes, Mathias said, making it very tough to catch one in the act.

“These things are a needle in a haystack,” he said.

That makes it all the more important to report all crimes to the police, he continued – even the little ones.

“Policing is extremely statistics-driven,” he said. “If there’s 50 vehicles broken into (in South Glens) and zero are reported, we’re not going to be down there. We’re going to be where other crime is reported.”

Crime reports also affect the town’s ability to get more officers from the RCMP, noted Mayor Lisa Holmes.

“If you report it, and our (crime) stats go up, then we get more officers.”

Rotary stumps for regional arena

Town council should aim to build a regional recreation centre when it thinks about replacing Morinville’s arena in this year’s budget, says the local Rotary club.

Joel Chevalier of the Rotary Club of Morinville spoke to town council last week about the need to build a regional recreation centre.

Town council is set to debate later this year how to replace the aging Ray MacDonald Sports Arena. Administration reports suggest a replacement arena could later grow into a regional recreation centre.

The Rotary Club held two open houses last fall to gauge local interest in a regional recreation centre.

The club found strong support for the concept from many groups, Chevalier said. The provincial and federal governments were also pushing regional initiatives through their grant policies.

“We have a strategic opportunity right now, and I think we can deliver on it.”

Chevalier urged council to work with local groups and governments, particularly Sturgeon County, to get a regional recreation centre built by 2017.

“The need is immediate for our region and our community,” he said.

In an interview, Holmes said council will look at both a local and a regional recreation centre in its upcoming budget.

“Just because something is located in Morinville doesn’t mean it can’t be servicing the region,” she said.

Holmes said she plans to speak with Sturgeon County council about the idea at a joint council meeting later this month.


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