A pair of brazen thefts in and around Stettler may be related, according to Stettler RCMP Cpl. Ryan Koehli.
Though police are still investigating, the “brazen” manner of the thefts lead Koehli to suspect that it is the same persons perpetrating the crimes.
It started on Aug. 5 around 10:45 a.m. when an employee of a local business was working on unloading the trailer attached to his business vehicle. While he was doing that, another vehicle, believed to be an older-style white GMC Tahoe or a Chevrolet Yukon, pulled up beside the truck. Several men jumped out, jumped into the business vehicle and drove off with the truck and the attached trailer, even though the contents were no longer secure.
This “brazen act” was done while the employee was just metres away, watching, Koehli said.
The two vehicles fled northward and the trailer – with its belongings – were located north of town. The truck itself was later found in the Lacombe area.
On Aug. 8, east of the rural community of Red Willow, a local resident was working in his yard when a suspicious white Chevrolet or Dodge older-style truck came up the laneway and stopped.
Several men exited the vehicle, grabbed two dirtbikes from the property, and loaded them on to the back of the truck before taking off, Koehli said.
Again, the act was done in full view of the home owner.
The truck fled over several fields, damaging fences and property. Koehli asks residents in the Red Willow area to check their property and, if they discover some of their fences have been run over, to contact the Stettler detachment at 403-742-3382.
There was also a break and enter in the Red Willow area on Aug. 8 during daytime hours. Unknown individuals broke into the residence and stole seven firearms from the home – shotguns and rifles, Koehli said.
Prior to the break and enter, a suspicious truck was noted on the road outside, he added.
Koehli said that there have been several break-and-enters and thefts from rural properties, from people entering homes to simply taking what is out and available. He reminds home owners that locking doors and locking up property when not around can lessen the chance of theft.
Situation reverses the typical roles of victim, perpetrator
Stettler RCMP responded to roughly 50 calls during the past week, including one at 4:20 a.m. on Aug. 5. Police responded to a 911 call about a domestic dispute where one half of a separated couple was trying to break into the home.
According to Koehli, a 35-year-old Stettler woman was banging on the windows trying to break the glass to gain entry to the home. Eventually, she was successful in gaining entry, but fled when police arrived.
The home was occupied by a man and a 4-year-old child at the time of the incident. No injuries were reported.
The woman fled on foot at the arrival of police but was apprehended a short time later. She is facing a charge each of forcible entry, mischief under $5,000, theft under $5,000, and failure to comply with a probation order.
She was released on conditions and is set to appear at Alberta Provincial Court in Stettler in September.
Shortly after midnight on Aug. 8-9, police responded to multiple complaint calls about a loud, large party being held here in Stettler.
Police attended the scene and broke up the shindig, and Koehli noted that everyone was cooperative and amiable.
In addition to noise, one of the complaints was the mess being left behind by partiers, which consisted mostly of beverage containers littering yards and the street, Koehli noted.
As the last of the party-goers departed, a group of teens who were at the party arrived with garbage bags and brooms, and started cleaning the streets, even though it was nearing 1 a.m.
“They rounded up a cleaning crew, and apologized to their neighbours,” Koehli said.