Grande Prairie RCMP reported an increase in break and enters, motor vehicle theft, and theft from a motor vehicle in March of 2022 in comparison to March of 2021. Sergeant Shawn Graham says they’ve received a significant uptick in complaints regarding break and enters from both residents and businesses throughout the City of Grande Prairie.
“However, March represents a fairly significant increase in thefts to businesses specifically. Not only did businesses suffer from thefts but also property damages such as broken windows and doors,” he says.
Graham says break and enters aren’t entirely preventable, but there are steps people and businesses can take to put themselves in a less vulnerable position.
“Taking a crime prevention approach to your home or business can help. These include making sure your surveillance systems are working properly, installing alarms, posting signs indicating your business is under video surveillance, having the exits and entrances well lit, not keeping cash on hand, and keeping lights on at the business after hours if possible,” he explains.
“Certainly some of those initiatives will help and we encourage the public to report any suspicious behaviour that they see that could potentially prevent any of these. Don’t confront them yourself but call 911 and let us help.”
According to the RCMP, the City of Grande Prairie saw 2,704 incidents in March, compared to 2,146 incidents in March of 2021. In the County, incidents increased from 427 last year to 500. The only crime that saw a decrease in comparison to last March was possession of stolen property.
“If your business or home has been broken into, the first step should be contacting the police. Don’t enter the property, especially if you think someone may still be in there. It’s important to leave the crime scene undisturbed so that police can investigate and try to recover any stolen property,” he says.
Graham adds that the Grande Prairie RCMP is actively investigating all of the incidents and one arrest has been made in regards to someone who is believed to have been involved in various breaks and enters.