An Alberta RV dealer is reeling following the theft of two luxury fifth-wheel trailers with a combined value of more than $300,000.
The thefts happened in the early morning hours of Dec. 4 at Vision RV in the Acheson industrial area of Parkland County, just west of Edmonton.
Security footage shows a white Chevrolet pickup truck pull up to the front gate just after 2 a.m.
A man wearing a balaclava gets out of the driver’s seat and proceeds to try to cut the chain with what appear to be bolt cutters.
Moments later, the man grabs a power tool from the truck and sparks start flying at the entranceway.
A magnetic “security” decal can be seen on the rear driver’s side door. The man opens the gate and drives away.
About ten minutes later, the white truck returns and drives onto the lot towards the most expensive of the 200 units parked on the property, according to general manager, Melanie Blank-Shatford.
“He’s got it completely planned out because he doesn’t even hesitate,” said Blank-Shatford, as she watched the security footage on Wednesday.
The truck drives away with a 41-foot Forest River Cedar Creek brand trailer priced at $154,000.
The Chevy soon comes back. but this time, the security decal is gone.
The truck proceeds to a different part of the lot and drives away with a second luxury travel trailer — a 43-foot Forest River Cardinal that was listed at $146,500.
“The two most expensive fifth-wheels on the lot is what they took,” Blank-Shatford said.
Staff suspect the thief had been on the property before Sunday morning.
Approximately 12 hours earlier on Saturday afternoon, a customer matching the build and dress of the thief came to Vision RV in a dark Chevrolet sedan and spoke with a salesperson about the exact two RVs that ended up being stolen.
“He was like a regular customer,” said salesperson Dean Wendland. “He asked questions and acted like he was really interested in an RV.”
Vision RV reported the crime to Parkland County RCMP, which confirmed to Global News it is investigating the thefts.
“It hurts,” owner Larry Ricci said. “Sure, you’ve got deductible and insurance pays.
“But the reality is, insurance goes up and we have thieves coming in, doing whatever they want to do.”
Vision RV have already dealt with theft in 2022.
Blank-Shatford said someone gained access to the property in July by cutting a hole in their security fence.
One trailer unit was stolen. She said RCMP were not optimistic they would recover it and never have.
“The RCMP officer literally laughed at me and said that it would either be in the U.S. or in the bush somewhere by then,” Blank-Shatford said.
“It’s just sickening. We’re not a huge corporation. We’re a small, family owned dealership. We’ve been here for 35 years and this last year, the theft is the worst it’s ever been.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Parkland RCMP or submit a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers.