Fuel frequent target for thieves

The death of a man in Red Deer as he tried to stop a man from stealing his truck in late March has led police to issue a warning...

The death of a man in Red Deer as he tried to stop a man from stealing his truck in late March has led police to issue a warning about intercepting people believed to be engaging in criminal acts.

“The RCMP don’t recommend that people approach,” Stettler RCMP Cpl. Ryan Koehli said. “You should call the police. We can be there any time of day.”

He said that the risk to personal safety isn’t worth a vehicle or a tank of gas.

Fuel frequent target of break-insA series of in-town and rural break-ins the past week have had a primary focus of making off with fuel or vehicles, Koehli said. The break-ins in the county seemed to be happening north of the Town of Stettler this week.

“We had several people phone us about suspicious vehicles, and that’s very good,” Koehli said. When police receive the calls immediately, they’re able to go out and see if they can find the vehicle in question. Phoning well after the fact is less useful, though police can keep an eye out for the vehicle.

In the break-ins, the primary target appears to have been fuel, with gasoline, diesel, fuel pumps and slip tanks stolen from properties.

In town, seven different vehicles were broken into, but in all cases the doors were left unlocked, Koehli said.

“We had a few licence plates stolen and people rummaging through vehicles, going through consoles and the like,” he said. In these cases, the suspects will just grab what’s available, and a locked door is often enough to deter them. That being said, Koehli recommended people not only lock their doors, but also ensure no valuables are in sight or even in the vehicle.

A white 2008 GMC pick-up truck was also stolen from the downtown area sometime on April 4.