Red Deer resident Brandon Free stays up all night and watches his close in Highland Green. Photo contributed

‘Criminals have crowbars, needles, screwdrivers:’ One Red Deer man keeps watch

While most of us are sleeping, one Red Deer man stays up and keeps an eye out for activity.

Brandon Free watches criminals checking door handles in his neighbourhood through the security cameras around his home. If he sees suspicious activity, he blares his air horn or scares them off by sounding the security siren at his home.

The Red Deerian, who is unarmed, pursues the criminals at times. He finds criminals with crowbars, screwdrivers, pocket knives and drug needles – which are a “big one.”

“If he’s going to pull a needle on me, I let them go. Otherwise, I take the weapons away (and give them to the RCMP) or let them be with it,” he said, adding they never hand over the weapons willingly.

The Red Deer father has about four cameras in the front of his house, and another four in the back. There are also cameras inside the house.

Most times, he watches the cameras and passes on any worthwhile footage to the RCMP. But at times, when he sees people lurking outside, he goes out there and gives them a chase. The former security industry worker said he isn’t afraid to pursue the criminals, if it’s needed.

He never goes out with a weapon to protect himself.

“I should be able to go out there with a weapon – I got somebody stealing my property. I should be able to go out armed, but the way our laws are, if I go out with anything, I could get charged,” he said.

He stays up every night until about 4 or 5 a.m. and heads to work at 7:30 a.m., he said with a chuckle.

The suspicious people are anywhere between 18 and 35 years old. Since November, Free has called the RCMP about 40 to 50 times and pursued criminals about 100 times.

By now, some of the criminals know the Red Deer man is watching.

“They’ve figured out our close is harder to get stuff out of, so they avoid us. But you can watch the trucks and the suspicious vehicle go by on the main street all night long still,” he said.

He sees the same faces – about 30 per cent of them – as well as new faces. In some cases, they’re men; in others, there are women; and sometimes, groups include both genders.

“There’s repeats. You can tell by the way they walk. Them trying to look for me when they come up, because they know I’m around, so they will watch and check around the corners. It is a lot of new people too, though.”

Free said he isn’t the only one watching the streets and security cameras in the wee hours. There are other people all over Red Deer who do the same thing. Crime fighters, who also watch Facebook crime prevention groups, text each other if they see suspicious vehicles in their neighbourhoods.

“If I get a text message (about suspicious activity), I go stand in the corner until that person decides to move along, or I leave a couple more lights on.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Keep an eye out for animals on the highway: Blackfalds RCMP

Animals wandering onto highways can put drivers at risk, says a Blackfalds… Continue reading

Report finds many birds in decline but co-operation works to rebuild populations

The bad news is that the populations of more than one-quarter of… Continue reading

Raptors coach Nick Nurse says meeting in the works with Prime Minister Trudeau

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse says a meeting is in the… Continue reading

Trade, China sure to surface as Trudeau meets Trump, congressional leaders

WASHINGTON — Justin Trudeau is headed back to the White House today… Continue reading

Oil shippers boost security after mysterious attacks in Gulf

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A series of attacks on oil tankers… Continue reading

VIDEO: Avengers: Endgame to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Quebec’s biggest French school board postpones applying religious symbols law

MONTREAL — Quebec’s largest school board has voted to delay application of… Continue reading

B.C. Conservative MP Mark Warawa dies after cancer diagnosis

OTTAWA — Conservative MP Mark Warawa has died after being diagnosed with… Continue reading

Trump promises help with Canadian detainees in China as Trudeau visits D.C.

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump says he will raise the issue… Continue reading

VIDEO: Avengers: Endgame to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

‘He gets it’: Bowen Byram set to hear name called early at NHL draft

VANCOUVER — Bowen Byram’s bantam coach knew almost immediately the defenceman would… Continue reading

Guardado scores 2 as Mexico beats Canada 3-1

DENVER — Andres Guardado had two goals in the second half, Roberto… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews on cover of “NHL 20” video game

Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Auston Matthews will be on the cover… Continue reading

Opinion: Trans Mountain pipeline proceeds should be invested in Alberta

By David Marsden There’s a much-expected sigh of relief now that the… Continue reading

Most Read