In response to a recent spike in truck thefts, the Lloydminster RCMP are partnering with three other area detachments and using new crime analysis methods to track and identify those responsible.
In June, 29 truck thefts were reported in Lloydminster, nearly twice as many as the 15 thefts in May and three times as many as June 2014, when around 10 such thefts were reported.
Since the joint investigation began in June, the Lloydminster, Onion Lake, Maidstone and Kitscoty RCMP have made 16 arrests, laid over 60 charges and have recovered some of the stolen property. Twelve of the arrested individuals are from Onion Lake, but police have yet to determine if the thefts are related.
“We’re currently investigating and looking into the links between the individuals that we have located and arrested,” RCMP Const. Grant Kirzinger said. “Having this many vehicles stolen in a short period of time definitely has peaked our suspicions that there would be some collaboration of those involved.”
Using crime data, the Lloydminster RCMP have identified five “hot spots” in the city where vehicle thefts are more common, mostly along 44 Street and 50 Avenue. They also determined that the majority of thefts take place between 2 and 6 a.m. and mostly on Mondays. Vehicles were parked at the time of the thefts.
“This investigation just emphasizes what we’ve been trying to accomplish in Lloydminster. We’re trying to use our resources in the best possible way and analytics information that were provided by our criminal intelligence officer allows us to do that,” RCMP Insp. Suki Manj said. “This is just an example of how a concentrated effort in a short period of time can make a huge effect on crime rates in our community.”
The majority of stolen vehicles have been three-quarter and one-ton trucks. Kirzinger says there has also been a rise in stolen licence plates from trucks of similar makes and models. A trend police have noticed is that the stolen vehicles are equipped with after-market accessories, like larger tires, rims, grills and special lights.
“When we’ve recovered these vehicles we have found that they have had these parts stripped off of them,” Kirzinger said. “We encourage people to keep their factory equipment. Those pieces of equipment have serial numbers that are linked to your vehicle and make it easier for us to track.
See “Theft,” Page 9
The after-market parts do not have any link to the motor vehicle itself.”
Kirzinger says the Lloydminster RCMP regularly works with other detachments, but not often on a specific crime that affects all areas. He says this investigation is a good learning experience.
“Crime has no borders. It is something that occurs fluidly throughout the detachment areas. Just because a crime is occurring inside of Lloydminster doesn’t mean that it wont effect the detachments outside of it,” he said. “The individuals travel freely throughout these areas and having the co-operation and involvement of all of the detachments make us far more effective and efficient in the work that we do.”