Elk Point RCMP Warn Businesses of Thefts in Area

The Elk Point RCMP Detachment is warning local businesses of an increase in break-ins and thefts in the general area. Although the town hasn’t been affected with an increase of business break-ins or thefts, neighbours in St. Paul, Saddle Lake, Goodfish Lake, and area have been. This has prompted S/Sgt. Barry LaRocque of the Elk Point RCMP Detachment, to ask businesses to be on guard.

Businesses in and around St. Paul have seen an increase in ATM related break-ins, where assailants have attempted to open or remove the ATMs from a business, in order to gain access to the cash. S/Sgt LaRocque says Elk Point hasn’t been affected yet. but with the close proximity it would be wise to take precautions. “The ones in St. Paul are really brash ones,” S/Sgt LaRocque explains assailants are very distructive when trying to gain access to cash, “we haven’t seen any of that out here. But, that being said, we’re an area with multiple of those machines with large amounts of cash inside them. I suspect that we’re not that far away from being exposed to that, as well.”

There some precautions business owners can take, explains LaRocque, “Either yourself, the business owner, or the proprietor of the cash machines, look at where they’re putting the machines. Not inside an entryway, where they’d be very accessible by breaking a window. Put them in places where it would require some work and effort, on behalf of the criminals to be able to go after the machines.”

The St. Paul RCMP Detachment Provided Tips for store owners and operators which can help prevent or mitigate a break and enter:

– Ensure good lighting around the exterior and interior of your business around the clock.

– Having quality doors and deadbolts and strike bars on all exits and entrances can inhibit thieves looking for quick entry.

– Especially in remote areas, having bars or security screen reinforcements around large windows can be a deterrent.

– Working alarm systems are crucial.  Proper checks should include making sure your alarm company has up to date physical address, business name, and current reliable key-holders as contacts.  This will decrease response time for law enforcement.

– Use both an audible siren in conjunction with a telephone remote calling system.  If your business also has a silent hold-up alarm, ensure your staff knows how it works, and what is an appropriate situation to activate it.

– Security systems and safes should be kept out of sight and not easily accessible.  At night, leave cash register trays empty and open.

– For retail locations, attempt to have staff approach and greet all customers when possible.  Thieves looking for a potential targets generally don’t want to be seen or acknowledged.

– If someone or something seems suspicious, have your staff know to make note of it, and any vehicles or license plates associated if applicable.

– If you discover that your business has been the victim of a break and enter, or there has been a robbery, your safety is the primary concern.  If you are not sure if there is still someone inside the business, DO NOT ENTER and call the police.  Valuable evidence may be lost if anyone walks inside or disturbs the scene.

Merchandise can be replaced, people cannot.  If you find yourself being robbed, try to stay calm and do everything that is asked of you.  Once the incident is over, immediately call the police, make notes of what you saw, what was said, and how the suspects left.  The RCMP and Victim’s Services will make sure you have all the support you need following a traumatic event.

Members of the public are being requested to provide any information they can regarding knowledge of these events.  If you would like to remain anonymous, tips can be called into CRIME STOPPERS at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).