An alleged theft from a vehicle over the weekend underscores the increasing prevalence of such crimes as the weather warms up, police say.
© Herald photo by Matt Gardner
Sgt. Brandon Mudry of the Prince Albert Police Service speaks at a Monday press conference.
Sgt. Brandon Mudry indicated at a Monday press conference that the approach of spring tends to bring out potential thieves who check vehicles to see if the doors are unlocked in order to steal items inside.
“That’s common,” Mudry said. “Especially with the warmer weather and increased foot traffic here in the city, it becomes more prevalent with the weather warm up.”
In the most recent example, which took place on Sunday evening, Prince Albert police were called to the 2600 block of Third Avenue West at 10:30 p.m. after receiving a complaint of a male who appeared to be checking out vehicles.
The complainant observed the suspect walking around the cars parked in his neighbour’s driveway before proceeding next door and checking all the vehicles parked in that driveway.
At that point, the complainant left his residence in a vehicle and followed the male, who had gained access to a vehicle further down the street.
The suspect then attempted to flee the scene before the arrival of patrol members. The complainant began a pursuit on foot and helped police who had arrived on the scene in apprehending the suspect.
While acknowledging the complainant’s assistance to police, Mudry cautioned against residents adopting a similar approach and chasing down suspects themselves.
“That is exceptional to go what I’d consider above and beyond to make the call first off, then proceed to leave his own residence in his own vehicle to keep an eye on him, and then further to that initiate a pursuit,” Mudry said.
Especially with the warmer weather and increased foot traffic here in the city, it becomes more prevalent. Sgt. Brandon Mudry
“Certainly I wouldn’t recommend that the general public take those actions. But in this case it assisted us in stopping a crime.”
Police at the scene arrested a 20-year-old man who has been charged with theft from a motor vehicle and later made his first appearance in Prince Albert Provincial Court.
Mudry said it is more common in Prince Albert for thieves to steal items from vehicles rather than the vehicles themselves.
“Cars obviously with today’s security features are a little more sophisticated than they were even 10 years ago,” he noted.
While many thieves will not hesitate to break vehicle windows in order to steal items inside, targeting unlocked vehicles offers certain advantages in terms of getting away with the crime.
“We do see damage to motor vehicles to gain entrance to steal from the vehicles,” Mudry said. “But again, that draws attention to yourself … smashing a window in a quiet neighbourhood as opposed to checking the unlocked doors, which really garners no attention.”
As always, residents should take care to ensure their vehicle doors are locked.