February 4, 2016 8:27 pm
Updated: February 4, 2016 8:53 pm

Rural property theft on the rise: RCMP

WATCH ABOVE: Rural vehicle thefts in Rockyview County, including quads and ATVs, rose 20 to 25 per cent in 2015. The economic downturn may be responsible. Mia Sosiak speaks with police about why, and to an acreage owner who had his snowmobiles stolen in early February.

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Rockyview RCMP are blaming the economy and drug use for a spike in rural vehicle thefts.

Thieves are targeting all types of vehicles, including quads and ATVs.

Sgt. Jeff Campbell with the Cochrane RCMP told Global News they have noted a 20 to 25 per cent increase in thefts in a single year.

That’s not sitting well with Vic Cotton, a Bearspaw resident who recently had two snowmobiles on a trailer stolen.

“Someone steals your goods to sell them in order to stay afloat, it affects the person you stole them from.”

Cotton said the trailer hitch was padlocked, but thieves can just chain the trailer to the back of their truck.

One of the challenges that RCMP are facing with this increase is that they are now investigating more crimes with the same resources, according to Campbell.

With that in mind, police are asking rural residents to help prevent thefts and possibly help officers catch thieves.

Watch below: Sgt. Campbell offers advice to rural residents.

With files from Mia Sosiak

Global News

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