Break-ins concern Green Lake residents

by Phil Ambroziak

Seven break-and-enters in one night sounds like a lot, but Northern Village of Green Lake officials are not prepared to identify recent incidents in their community as a “crime spree.”

“I don’t believe that’s true,” remarked village administrator Tina Rasmussen. “We haven’t had that kind of problem in a really long time.”

Green Lake RCMP Cst. Tim Stewart agrees, stating the series of shed break-ins experienced in Green Lake May 28 was likely an isolated incident.

“In terms of a rash of mischief or vandalism, little things do occur here and there throughout the year, but not too many,” Stewart said. “To have this many break-ins in one night is definitely a one-time thing.”

The break-ins, which took place during the early morning hours, resulted in several locks being cut and items stolen from at least two of the buildings. Among the stolen items were fishing rods, a Weed Whacker and fuel. Around the same time, the television cable to a Green Lake home was also cut, but Stewart could not say if this particular act of vandalism was connected in any way to the break-ins. He also expressed his concern about more young people getting into trouble now that summer is on the horizon.

“It’s getting near the end of the school year, the weather is warmer and it’s easier for young people to be out and about unsupervised,” he said. “With few other outlets for them, they often express themselves in ways that are inappropriate.”

Rasmussen, however, defended Green Lake’s youth population, stating certain adults are just as likely to break the law than young people. She also confirmed the village does have a curfew bylaw that calls for children 16 years and under to be off the streets by 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.

“We rely on the RCMP to enforce the bylaw because we don’t have our own bylaw officer,” she said.

Rasmussen went on to admit there isn’t much from a municipal standpoint for young people to occupy their free time with in Green Lake aside from a summer literacy camp and whatever activities are organized by the local school and community recreation coordinator. Everything, she added, depends on funding.

“She (coordinator) does have a budget and there is a steering committee that will be meeting before the end of the school year to see what can be organized, but even when we do host recreation programs in the summer a lot of kids don’t attend because they go away for most of the summer with their families,” Rasmussen noted.

Meanwhile, Stewart said the Green Lake RCMP detachment will continued to do its part to ensure people of all ages are abiding by the law.

“We’re only a three-man detachment, so there’s no 24-hour policing here,” he said. “The hours someone is on duty vary, it all depends on how many members are in town at a given time. We’re on call 24/7 and someone works at least one shift per day. But, in a small community like this, they (perpetrators) figure out rather quickly when an officer is on duty or not.”

He also suggested residents work together to help reduce crime in their respective neighbourhoods.

“People need to look out for their neighbours as best they can,” he said. “These seven sheds were likely broken into when people were sleeping and that’s why there’re no witnesses, but if you ever see anything that doesn’t seem right, call the police immediately. Also, when crimes like this occur, the people who do these things sometimes like to brag about it afterward. So, if anyone hears anything, contact us.”

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