Rural homeowner reportedly shot at during break-in near Athabasca: RCMP

Athabasca RCMP are investigating after a homeowner was allegedly shot at during a reported break-in. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Police are investigating after a man was allegedly shot at during a reported break-in at his rural property in northern Alberta early Tuesday morning.

Athabasca RCMP were called to a rural residence northeast of the town around 5 a.m.

READ MORE: Rural crime is at ‘crisis levels’ in Alberta, says Foothills MP

According to police, the homeowner said he heard an alarm going off in his garage and shop area. When the man went to look outside to see what was going on, he reportedly spotted three people in his yard in an older, silver half-tonne Ford truck with rust around the wheel wells.

Police said a suspect from the vehicle saw the homeowner looking at them through the window and allegedly fired a bullet at the home, which went through the wall.

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READ MORE: Parkland County man has gun pointed at him after arriving home during break and enter

The homeowner was not injured, and police said the suspect truck left the area headed south. Athabasca is about 140 kilometres north of Edmonton.

According to Statistics Canada, the rural crime rate has been climbing across the Prairie provinces in recent years. Last year, Alberta rolled out a rural crime strategy, which, in February, both the province and RCMP said had resulted in a significant reduction in crime.

The strategy came about after some rural residents said they were being repeatedly victimized, mostly in property-related crime incidents like home break-ins and vehicle thefts.

READ MORE: Next phase of Alberta’s rural crime strategy to focus on victims

Anyone with information about the alleged break-in in Athabasca is encouraged to call Athabasca RCMP at 780-675-5122 or submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or going online.

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