Motor vehicle theft rates in Sylvan Lake more than doubled between 2010 and 2014, according to Sylvan Lake RCMP, who last week released crime statistics comparing crime in the two years.
Statistics show vehicle thefts sat at 31 in 2010, and increased to 76 in 2014. They, along with theft under $5,000 — which increased to 294 from 255 in the same period of time — grew more significantly than any other crime.
“These are both crimes that the public can assist the police in reducing,” said Sylvan Lake RCMP Sgt. Jeff McBeth. “Ensure you are not leaving vehicles or shed and garage doors unlocked, and never leave your vehicle running unattended, or leave valuables in the vehicle.
“It’s unfortunate, but criminals are constantly on the lookout for these easy targets, and they can be in your vehicle and gone again in moments.”
The Sylvan Lake RCMP became part of a regional Priority Crimes Task Force in October 2014. Since then, the Task Force’s participating detachments have increased communication with the public regarding area criminal activity.
The increased presence of such dialogue, according to Sylvan Lake RCMP, often leads people to believe crime is on the rise. Statistics comparing crime in 2010 and 2014 were released last week in an effort to shed some light on areas of both growth and decline.
Areas explored included break-and-enter (43 in 2010, 46 in 2014), theft over $5,000 (8 in 2010, 11 in 2014), mischief to property (257 in 2010, 271 in 2014), uttering threats (36 in 2010, 47 in 2014), arson (5 in 2010, 0 in 2014) and Criminal Code traffic offences (195 in 2010, 141 in 2014).
According to the Sylvan Lake RCMP, much public interest has been generated through the Task Force’s many recent success stories, in which a number of prolific offenders have been apprehended. Members of the public are encouraged to be equally as vigilant, and to ensure their vehicles and belongings remain inaccessible to criminals.
Other participating detachments in the Task Force include Blackfalds, Innisfail and Red Deer. Together, Task Force members aim to reduce criminal activity to ensure area communities remain safe.