Car vandalism still under investigation

By Phil Ambroziak

Meadow Lake RCMP believe they are getting closer to cracking the case as far as recent vehicle break-ins and vandalism are concerned.

According to RCMP Sgt. Phil DeGruchy, an update could be coming soon with regard to ongoing incidents of tire slashing, as well as two Dec. 13 incidents that saw one vehicle’s back window smashed and another entered and items stolen.

“We’re still in the middle of it (investigation), but we have some leads,” DeGruchy said.

The first recent report of vehicle tires being slashed in Meadow Lake was Nov. 6. According to police, the latest incident occurred Jan. 1. Meanwhile, some time between 1 and 8 a.m. on Dec. 13, two vehicles were broken into. The first vehicle, belonging to a Saskatchewan Environment and Research Management (SERM) officer, had its back window smashed while parked on Coupland Crescent. The second vehicle, a personal vehicle belonging to an off-duty RCMP member, was entered while parked on 7th Avenue West. The thief or thieves made off with a wallet containing an undisclosed amount of money as well as the RCMP member’s police badge.

“It (badge) is supposed to be on your person at all times and really shouldn’t be left sitting in a vehicle or on the dash – wherever it happened to be,” DeGruchy continued. “Maybe it was the result of a forgetful moment – it’s hard to say. We found most of the contents of the wallet in a nearby alley, but the badge was missing.”

DeGruchy would not comment on the apparent boldness of those responsible other than to remind all residents to keep their vehicles locked when unattended, especially if they contain any valuable items.

“At this time of year when it is -40C or more out there, people tend to leave their vehicles running, even when they go in to do their shopping,” he said. “If you don’t lock it, there’s a chance it won’t be there when you come out. Not all vehicles have alarm systems. The same thing applies at home. You have to make sure you lock your house, garage or any out buildings you may have.”

DeGruchy did admit some determined thieves are not above breaking-and-entering, but added a locked door could prove to be a strong enough deterrent in many cases.

“Many incidents occur when someone has left a door unlocked,” he said.

Officers leading the Dec. 13 incidents include Const. Paul Carey and Cpl. K.A. Gobeil.

“We’ll keep picking away at this (investigation),” DeGruchy concluded. “Whatever it takes, we’ll keep at it until we get it.”

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