The Cold Lake RCMP is warning the public to lock their vehicles. The Detachment reports that crimes of theft are not unusually high compared to last year; however, thefts of vehicles and/or property stored inside vehicles is typically higher in the winter. The reason for the seasonal increase is thefts of this nature are often crimes of opportunity.
Sgt. Troy Hadland, with the Cold Lake Detachment, says thefts in the area cannot be blamed on the poor economy, “if we hadn’t had any for a while and then all of a sudden three or four in one week, then we could blame [the economy].” The Detachment saw two vehicle thefts and one snowmobile in a four-day period last week, however that was typical of when the economy was stronger, as well.
Sgt. Hadland says vehicle theft crimes are more a crime of opportunity, and there is typically more opportunity in the winter when people leaves their vehicles running or unlocked, or both. “A lot of times the vehicles are stolen when they’re unlocked and running. Typically, that’s going to happen in the winter. Lots of times, they’re taken out of opportunity, not so much targeted.” Thefts will see a vehicle left running or unlocked and they will take it.
An incident on March 2nd is an example, a truck was stolen from Cold Lake and found shortly after near the casino. A suspect was arrested after the keys were found in his pocket. It is believed the vehicle was running when the suspect came upon it and took it.
I would safely say, we get more vehicle thefts in the wintertime. Some are targeted. But lots of times the keys are in the vehicle, running or hidden in the vehicle. -Sargent Troy Hadland Cold Lake RCMP Detachment