Chestermere’s RCMP are resuming a program to deter property crime in the city by ensuring vehicles are locked in the city.
RCMP Const. Victor Quast is rotating out of the position of full time traffic officer and back to general duties. This means he will be resuming where he left off with lock it or lose it night time foot patrols.
“All I do is I lock and leave a brochure,” said Quast.
“It was one out of 10 vehicles I was finding unlocked, unsecured,” he said.
Property crimes continue to be a persistent problem in the city and Quast is hoping that the foot patrols will both educate residents and help to prevent crimes.
“Vehicle thefts…it’s through the roof…right across the board,” he said.
He will be starting to patrol once the weather warms up in May and through the summer.
“On my night shifts that’s my plan spending a couple hours every night doing that,” he said.
“I’ve gridded it out,” said Quast, “I’ve got hopes for this summer to cover off the East side of Chestermere.”
Whether he reaches his goal will depend on the call volumes and policing focus of the RCMP this summer.
On his patrols, Quast and other RCMP officers, will be checking to make sure vehicles are locked. When he finds an unsecured vehicle, he’ll drop a pamphlet inside and lock the vehicle.
Members won’t be checking for valuables or searching the cars simply leaving the brochure and locking the vehicle.
The brochure makes up the educational component of the program while the officers presence will be a deterrent to criminals.
“At the same time I’m out and about that’s when these guys are prowling neighbourhoods,” said Quast.
While Quast didn’t run the program in 2017 but in the two years previous he said he patrolled the entire west side of Chestermere.
“Every single residential street had me on it at some point,” he said.
In those patrols, Quast said he has been shocked at what he has found.
In one instance he found an unsecured pickup truck with a cheque book visible on the dash.
“Like wow,” he said.
He’s also had residents call in and report him as a car prowler.
“Now I have a bright yellow coat, so I’ll be wearing that too,” he said, “hopefully I may be a little more noticeable.”