When members of the Stettler RCMP decided to do a walkthrough of Whiskey Nights around 2 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, they were looking for people breaking curfews or conditions.
Instead, they returned to their cruiser, parked near the Esso gas station, and found one of the front windows kicked in.
Video from the gas station is being reviewed and the matter is being investigated, but if anyone has information they can contact police at 403-742-3382, or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-222-TIPS.
Crime numbers rise
The number of crimes being reported to the RCMP in July climbed this year, though the numbers are still below last year’s total, numbers released by the RCMP show.
By the end of July 2013, 122 criminal incidents had been reported to police, while 106 have been reported so far this year. The increase in July saw 31 incidents, whereas last year there were 17.
The largest increase was in assault incidents, with 10 being reported this July compared to two last year.
With the 10 assault investigations in July, the 2014 total stands at 13, higher than last year’s nine at the end of July.
The major improvement this year, however, is in clearance rates, the number of cases closed by police.
By the end of July 2013, police had a clearance rate of criminal cases involving persons of 67 per cent, property of 18 per cent, and other of 67 per cent. This year, the numbers stand at 90, 29 and 78 per cent respectively.
Duncan Babchuk, Stettler detachment commander, said earlier in the year that the low numbers on property case clearance rates skew so low because many of the cases investigated are mischief and theft, matters that are often hard to close.
He noted that many times police know who may have spray-painted this or thrown a rock through that, but they don’t end up with enough proof to ensure a conviction in court. Thus, the case remains open, dragging down the numbers.