BARRHEAD – An “active crew” is carrying out break-and-enters within Barrhead and the RCMP need the public’s assistance in identifying suspicious activity.
Unfortunately, he said, the police have been kept busy responding to break-and-enters.
"We have an active crew in town breaking into something almost daily. We have some leads and are working hard to find out who they are, but we are not yet at the point where we can charge anyone," Barrhead RCMP Sgt. Bob Dodds said. "(The crew) are doing a lot different things. They steal fuel from parked vehicles, breaking into garages, businesses and even a few homes."
About three weeks ago, Dodds visited the County of Barrhead council and told councillors the crime statistics for the region, especially property crime, in the April to July quarter had increased by 39 per cent compared to the previous year, fueled mainly by thefts under $5,000 reports.
He noted the individuals are primarily active at night, and most of their targets have been in the Town of Barrhead, adding the increase in break-and-enters started on Aug. 10, when thieves broke into Stephani Motors and stole three pickups.
Police recovered two of the trucks within a day of the robbery.
Dodds did not say if he believes the same crew is responsible for all the break-and-enters.
He also noted to supplement their ranks; the detachment has called in members from other communities as the need has arisen.
"What I would say to the public is what I have said before: if they see something suspicious, make sure they call the police and promptly when it is happening," he said, adding he cannot guarantee police will get there in time, but if they don't know about they have no chance.
"The reality now is that we don't have any 24-hour businesses. There is little reason to be out at midnight or 2 a.m., so if you see activity in a back alley or at a business that you know is closed or something like that. We are trying to keep an eye out for that type of activity, and if the public could help us out, that would be great."