Vehicle theft continues to be an issue in the Lakeland.
The Bonnyville RCMP have released information and statistics on this over the past year and yet the education piece does seem to be reaching everyone as there continues to be vehicles left idling with the keys inside. Investigating a stolen vehicle complaint can tie up a significant amount of police resources. One example from an investigation this past winter had several RCMP members including Police Dog Services and another assisting unit involved. Approximately 20 man hours were used to recover a stolen truck that had been left idling with the keys in it. Had that driver taken the basic steps to prevent the truck from being stolen, that’s 20 hours that roughly 10 members of the RCMP could have been spent on other investigations and proactive police work.
Another factor to consider are the insurance costs associated to vehicle theft. Insurance payouts vary depending on the value of the vehicle and its condition when it’s recovered. Additionally, if there are drugs recovered within the vehicle there’s the added cost to sanitize the interior. While there is no average insurance cost made available to the public, it is fair to say we all pay every time a vehicle is stolen. Insurance payouts come from a pool that everyone pays into via their premiums, and as long as vehicles continue to be stolen, premiums will continue to rise for theft coverage – for EVERYONE. This is another reason to take preventative steps such as locking your vehicle, not leaving the keys in the vehicle, utilizing remote start etc. When a vehicle owner becomes a victim of theft, everyone pays in the end.
So far in 2023, a vehicle is stolen every second day within the Bonnyville Detachment area.
S/Sgt. Sarah Parke Detachment Commander
Bonnyville Detachment RCMP