RCMP round table focuses on reducing vehicle theft

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Vehicle theft continues to be a problem in St. Albert.

At a crime round table on Tuesday night at Servus Place the RCMP said there have been 103 vehicles stolen in the city so far this year.

Although the number is high, it is down slightly from this time last year, which saw 127 vehicle thefts over  the same period.

Some 60 per cent of vehicles stolen had the keys in the car when they were taken.

Const. Emad Sadr said the best way to prevent vehicle theft is not leave the vehicle running with the keys inside. Sadr said that thieves can operate very quickly.

“In Alberta an experienced auto thief can break into a vehicle and start it in less than 30 seconds,” Sadr said.

After a rash of vehicle thefts in early November the RCMP detachment focused their twice annual crime prevention round table on preventing vehicle theft. Eight vehicles were stolen from St. Albert between Nov. 3 and Nov. 13. Four of the vehicles are still missing, while four of them have been recovered.

On Nov. 5 two vehicles were taken within 10 minutes of each other in the Lacombe Park area. A 2014 Ford F150 Pickup truck was stolen from Larkspur Crescent and a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV was stolen from Lombard Crescent.  The Santa Fe was later recovered in Leduc while the Ford truck has not been found.

Sadr said it is best to never leave the keys or any other valuables inside the vehicle. He said that if a resident notices their vehicle being stolen they should call 9-1-1 and not try to stop the thief themselves.

Corp. Laurel Kading from the RCMP said that the vehicle thefts are occurring in all areas of St. Albert and they are not concentrated in any particular area.

In October vehicle thefts spiked to 20 while the fewest vehicle thefts happened in February with just four vehicles taken. September was also a busy month for vehicle theft in the city with 12 vehicles going missing.

Along with vehicle theft In 2017 at least 17 St. Albert residents have reported that their vehicle licence plate has been stolen from their parked vehicle. Neighbourhood Watch provides free anti-theft fasteners to anyone in St. Albert who wants to prevent their licence plate from being stolen.

Anyone interested in anti-theft screws can call Dale at 780-460-4276.

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Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.