Alix is becoming a dumping ground for vehicles that were stolen in Central Alberta according to Bashaw’s top cop.
“There were at least half a dozen in the last four weeks,” RCMP Detachment Commander S/Sgt Bruce Holiday told Bashaw town council during their regular meeting July 20.
“We pulled one out of Alix Lake. A boater hit it. We discovered some other ones in rural locations, the gravel pit, sloughs and two were burnt.”
S/Sgt Holiday said most of the vehicles were stolen out of Lacombe County, a few from Red Deer County and one from Innisfail.
“We are working with out detachment partners in Blackfalds, Red Deer and Innisfail to try and identify if there is any pattern or common people associated with these thefts.
“I find it unusual that we are getting a lot dumped in the Alix area.Obviously someone is ‘coming home’ but how they are getting back to Lacombe County I’m not sure.”
Crime continues to be a problem
Twenty-eight batteries worth up to $600 each was stolen out of heavy equipment that was parked idle along the water line construction site near Hwy 21. This resulted in construction crews being forced to stop work while they replaced the batteries.
“The worst part of that is it affected the construction crew for that entire day,” said S/Sgt Holiday, adding that if anyone has any information to please call the Bashaw RCMP or, if they want to remain anonymous, to call Crime Stoppers.
A window was smashed out of the Elks Hall in Bashaw and police believe they know who did it after retrieving CCTV footage from businesses.
“It’s helping to identify who is responsible.”
Council didn’t approve a resident’s request for consideration on billing. The name of the landlord in Bashaw was not identified to the media.
Administration, in their report, said the resident owns “several properties around Bashaw” and the property referred to has been impacted by the construction on 54 Ave.
Many of the residents in the area are on temporary water services during construction.
Administration informed council that the owner of the property stated his vacant property wasn’t connected to temporary services and was doing renovations since the spring but hasn’t had any water services since construction on 54 Ave. started.
Administration said the property owner claimed to suffer from incontinence and not having water has adversely affected his situation and can’t continue with renovations because of the lack of services and believes the charges should be excluded from his bill.
The unidentified resident was quoted as saying that if council believes he should pay then he wants water restored to the property as soon as possible so he can ready the property for sale, saying “When showing the property it is a basic conclusion the lady always flushes the toilet.”
Bashaw Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller said that residents in the area affected by 54 Ave. renovations are all on temporary water services since the end of May.
“Notifications have been provided to all affected residents; via hand delivered, paper notice, (and) to this date this is the first contact we have received from this specific resident expressing concern that he doesn’t have water at his vacant site.”
CAO Fuller added that the resident could have his water hooked up any day and all he has to do is request that.
Other council business
Town council unanimously voted in favour of approving continuing their contract with Gitzel and Company to conduct the town’s year-end audit until 2022.
RCMP priorities on track
Bashaw RCMP has been focusing on crime prevention and in particular property crime and they have met, and possibly exceeded, their objectives of their 12 initiatives, said S/Sgt Holiday.
Members gave presentations to Rural Crime Watch and seniors in Ferintosh and Egbert.
During the school year RCMP members gave presentations on fentanyl to Bashaw students as well as students at the Christian School in Mirror and to younger students in Alix.
Bashaw RCMP’s second priority is traffic safety with a focus on impaired and aggressive drivers.
“As the summer goes on we will leverage our police resources with the county and commercial transport and fish and wildlife in the fall,” said S/Sgt Holiday.
They also want to work with repeat offenders and started a new program that identifies individuals who are criminally active and may have addiction, mental health or socio economic issues.
“It’s something the RCMP feels is important. It’s our job to assist that person in leaving that criminal lifestyle and the way we would do that is with the assistance of partners.”
The partners include AADAC and mental health workers. In addition, S/Sgt Holiday said if the individual needs job placement help or food bank assistance.
“If they are committing crimes because they have no food, we want to help people get out of that cycle.”
ECA Review Reporter