RCMP catch car thief in Rocky Mountain House with bait car

RCMP caught an alledged car thief in the act earlier this summer in Rocky Mountain House using a bait car. (File Photo)

RCMP caught an alledged car thief in the act earlier this summer in Rocky Mountain House using a bait car. (File Photo)

Police caught an alleged car thief in the act in Rocky Mountain House using a bait car earlier this summer.

Between June 22 and July 20, the Alberta RCMP Auto Theft Unit and Rocky Mountain House RCMP detachment launched a bait vehicle campaign in an effort to target priority offenders and tackle the community’s property crime rates. As a result of the enforcement initiative, officers have charged an individual with the theft of a motor vehicle.

An Albertan man, 34, faces three charges as a result of the incident.

The car was placed in locations with frequent incidences of vehicle break-ins and thefts. RCMP were alerted to the vehicle being targeted and taken on July 20. Minutes before police arrived to initiate a stop with the vehicle, the suspect parked and exited the car.

Bait vehicles are police GPS-monitored vehicles that are strategically placed with the intention of being stolen. Police are able to control bait vehicle functions remotely, including disabling the engines to make safe arrests. The Alberta RCMP reminds the public that any vehicle could be a bait vehicle. Steal one and the only ride you’ll be taking is in the back of a police car.

“As much as initiatives like these are used to apprehend priority offenders contributing to property crime, we also want them to serve as preventative measures,” said Supt. Peter Tewfik, officer in charge of Crime Reduction Strategies, Alberta RCMP.

“These cars are everywhere – offenders run the risk of being caught and apprehended every time they look to steal a vehicle. We hope this causes individuals to think twice before taking the bait.’’