The RCMP confirmed to Interlake Publishing that the towns of Stonewall and Teulon were affected by four separate break and enters in late January and is reminding residents to stay vigilant when it comes to securing their properties.
RCMP received a report on Jan. 29 at 3:05 a.m. that a local business on PR 415 and Highway 7 just outside of Teulon had been broken into.
“Officers attended the scene and met with the owners who advised the alarm had been activated and entry gained, but only minor damage and nothing appeared to have been stolen,” Sgt. Paul Manaigre, RCMP Media Relations Officer, said.
The second incident in Teulon happened to a business on Main Street, on the weekend prior to the first incident.
“Suspects gained entry to the business through the rear door and once inside, stole an undisclosed amount of cash,” Manaigre said.
A few days earlier, Stonewall also experienced two incidents. Police said they received a report of a break in on Main Street Jan. 25.
“Suspects pried their way in through the back door and stole an undisclosed amount of cash,” Manaigre explained, adding the break-in is believed to have occurred overnight.
The last incident in Stonewall happened a day later on Jan. 25, also overnight. Police received a report that a shed on Aspen Drive had been broke into and the suspects made off with a chainsaw.
RCMP said all four of the incidents are still under investigation. Manaigre said the current crime rate in both communities seems to have remained relatively stable in comparison to previous years.
Manaigre, who was in the field before working in the media relations unit, said in his 21 years of experience his biggest piece of advice for residents is making sure their property is as secure as they can make it.
“People need to understand that anyone can be targeted and that you need to make sure you look after your property. This means, you should secure your valuables and property if not being used (eg, snowmobiles, etc.). Items of value left outside and unsecured are easy targets for someone wanting to grab an item and sell it for a quick buck,” he explained.
“You would be really surprised how many people do not lock their vehicles and even leave the keys in them thinking that their neighbourhood is safe and that it won’t happen to me. I’ve always locked my vehicles, even when parked in the garage. Do not leave items (loose change, electronics) in the vehicle in view that encourages someone to want to enter it,” he added.
Examples he gave of good techniques to protect your property where locks and motion lights on building exteriors.
He noted that even though residents can take these steps property crime can still occur, so notifying RCMP about it is crucial. “If someone becomes a victim of property crime, it’s imperative that it be reported to the police immediately, no matter how minimal the damage or even if nothing is stolen in order for us to get a better idea of what’s going on out there,” he said.