The Eckville credit union bank was extensively damaged during a break-in attempt on Tuesday. (Contributed image by Fallon Elayne Moos, Community Crime Watch).

The Eckville credit union bank was extensively damaged during a break-in attempt on Tuesday. (Contributed image by Fallon Elayne Moos, Community Crime Watch).

Eckville bank smashed by backhoe in break-in attempt

Police are investigating extensive damage to credit union

Would-be thieves used a semi truck and backhoe to try to smash into an Eckville bank — but the break-in was interrupted and police were alerted.

RCMP were called at about 4:50 a.m. on Tuesday about a semi tractor-trailer and excavator parked suspiciously close to the Mountain View Financial Credit Union in Eckville.

Officers arrived and found the tractor-trailer still running — with no suspects around, said Cpl. Laurel Scott, of RCMP media relations.

“The semi truck was still idling … but whether the suspects left shortly before (police arrived) or a long time before, we don’t know,” she said.

The heavy equipment had been used to damage the bank building, including crushing eaves, doors and windows and smashing a partial hole in an exterior wall.

Scott surmises would-be thieves were trying to get at the bank machine inside, but didn’t get to carry out the theft. There was no damage to the bank vault or ATM.

Scott said police are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed activity around the bank early Tuesday morning.

Assessors are tabulating the extent of the damage to the building — some of which is likely structural, said Mark Baron, vice-president of retail banking for Mountain View Financial.

“It received quite a jolt,” so he expects a sizable damage estimate.

The vandalism didn’t keep the financial institution from opening and conducting business as usual Tuesday. But the crime is disheartening, said Baron.

He noted many banks in rural communities without a local police presence have been hit by criminals, including those in Priddis, Acme, Bragg Creek, Thorsby and Breton.

He has heard some of these communities now have their own neighbourhood watch groups, in which citizens take turns doing night patrols.

Baron’s glad someone in Eckville heard the early morning crashing and alerted police.

Scott also credits citizens who are on the lookout and notify RCMP of suspicious activities in their community.

“It’s a good thing when anyone calls to relay what’s happening,” she said.

crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lacombe city council rescinded many policies and bylaws on Jan. 25, 2021. (File photo)
Lacombe gets rid of outdated policies and bylaws

Data integrity project underway since 2016

Police have charged two men after they allegedly tried to break into the Bentley post office with a semi. (Photo courtesy of RCMP)
Red Deer men charged in Bentley post office destruction

Police have charged a pair of Red Deer men after an attempted… Continue reading

Red Deer Fire Chief Ken McMullen remains concerned about “inconsistencies” in the province’s new way of dispatching local ambulances. (Advocate file photo).
A few glitches are already noticed in Red Deer’s new ambulance dispatch system

Local fire-medics need more data about ambulance arrival times

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province still hopes to bring the hospitalization number down before relaxing restrictions. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
14 new deaths, 366 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Province nearing 100K COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen, left, makes a save on Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk during second period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Mitch Marner scores game winner for Maple Leafs in 4-3 win over Flames

Mitch Marner scores game winner for Maple Leafs in 4-3 win over Flames

FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2007, file photo, Boston Red Sox's Curt Schilling pitches against the Colorado Rockies in Game 2 of the baseball World Series at Fenway Park in Boston. Like many baseball writers, C. Trent Rosecrans viewed the Hall of Fame vote as a labor of love. The results of the 2021 vote will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, and Rosecrans was not alone in finding the task particularly agonizing this time around. With Schilling's candidacy now front and center — and Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens still on the ballot as well — voters have had to consider how much a player’s off-field behavior should affect his Hall of Fame chances. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
Baseball Hall gets no new members; Schilling 16 votes shy

Baseball Hall gets no new members; Schilling 16 votes shy

Prince Edward Island’s Birt is bubble-bound but first wants provincial title

Prince Edward Island’s Birt is bubble-bound but first wants provincial title

Toronto Arrows await word on where they can play, with Plan B going to the U.S.

Toronto Arrows await word on where they can play, with Plan B going to the U.S.

Former CFL player,-coach Brady understands historical significance of NFL promotion

Former CFL player,-coach Brady understands historical significance of NFL promotion

James Hinchcliffe, of Canada, watches during qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Darron Cummings
Canadian James Hinchcliffe inks full-time ride with Andretti for 2021 IndyCar season

Canadian James Hinchcliffe inks full-time ride with Andretti for 2021 IndyCar season

Toronto Six down Boston Pride 2-1 for first NWHL victory in franchise history

Toronto Six down Boston Pride 2-1 for first NWHL victory in franchise history

Winnipeg Jets' Andrew Copp (9) celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers during first period NHL action in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Nikolaj Ehlers leads the way, Jets storm back to beat Oilers 6-4

Nikolaj Ehlers leads the way, Jets storm back to beat Oilers 6-4

Most Read