A suspicious drone hovering over a rural property in Clearwater County was reported to RCMP last month. The drone took off as soon as the homeowners arrived. Black Press file photo

A suspicious drone hovering over a rural property in Clearwater County was reported to RCMP last month. The drone took off as soon as the homeowners arrived. Black Press file photo

Rural crooks using drones to target properties

Drone hovering over a property in Clearwater County was reported to RCMP

Rural thieves are apparently using drones to scope out potential targets.

Last month, RCMP received a report of a drone hovering over a rural property. When the homeowners returned, the drone flew off.

The following day, a suspicious vehicle was spotted in the same area.

Ken Wigmore, president of Red Deer/Lacombe Rural Community Crime Watch, was familiar with the report, which was posted on the group’s Facebook page in January.

He has not heard of any repeated sightings so far. “That is the only one I’ve come across.”

RCMP, who meet with crime watch members regularly, expressed no surprise that thieves were turning to drones in the never-ending quest for targets.

“That was brought up. (Police) said it’s happening,” he said.

Wigmore is also not surprised at the lengths thieves are going to. He’s heard of all sorts of tricks of the trade for thieves.

There have been reports of vehicles with a yellow light on the roof parked at the end of a road. It is believed the vehicle is used as a lookout, and when someone approaches, the light is turned on to warn thieves breaking into a home nearby.

Another trick Wigmore has heard is the placement of Tim Hortons cups in driveways, indicating a possible target.

There seems to be no end to the length thieves will go to. He has heard an energy company operating in central Alberta is losing tens of thousands of dollars a month in stolen copper wire.

A farmer posted last month that 50 to 60 hay bales were stolen from his property in the Pigeon Lake area, an operation that would have required a skid steer and trucks.

Fuel being stolen from farmers’ bulk tanks is also a recurring problem.

Wigmore said some farmers he knows keep their tanks empty outside of farming season because of thieves. Often, a thief will cut the hose, fill their vehicle, and leave with fuel pouring out of the cut hose.

The crime watch group advises property owners to take steps to protect themselves, such as locking gates, keeping yards well lit and installing cameras.

Red Deer/Lacombe Rural Community Crime Watch’s annual general meeting is set for March 28 at the Hamptons Inn and Suites at 128 Leva Ave. in Gasoline Alley.

For more information, go to www.rdruralcrimewatch.com.

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

Just Posted

RCMP seized a substantial amount of stolen property last week. (Photo courtesy of Innisfail RCMP)
RCMP charge six suspects after ‘substantial’ amount of stolen property seized

Innisfail RCMP recovered a large amount of stolen property after arresting six… Continue reading

Pharmacist Aamir Hussain, owner of Shoppers Drug Mart in Clearview Market Square, said he expects vaccine to be available to eligible seniors next week at his store. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Red Deer pharmacies prepare to be part of COVID-19 immunization plan

Seniors have already been calling to book appointments

Alberta Health Services Logo
AHS checking in with local businesses about COVID-19 plan

Alberta Health Services in the central zone is reaching out to local… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Aggressive arrest in Red Deer caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers' group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jesse Johnston
Dairy farmers lobby asks members to stop using palm oil in feed after ‘buttergate’

A dairy producers’ lobbying group is asking farmers to consider alternatives to… Continue reading

A new report says Canada’s small businesses now collectively owe more than $135 billion as they struggle to survive the pandemic, a staggering amount experts say could hurt the country’s economic recovery. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
Canadian small businesses rack up $135 billion in debt to survive pandemic: Report

TORONTO — Canada’s small businesses have collectively taken on $135 billion in… Continue reading

A Loblaws store is seen in Montreal on March 9, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Loblaw ready to call on pharmacists, supply chain to help COVID-19 vaccine rollout

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Loblaw Companies Ltd. says its ready to play a… Continue reading

Imperial Oil logo as seen at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Friday, April 29, 2016.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Imperial Oil reports one-billion-barrel drop in bitumen reserves at end of 2020

CALGARY — Imperial Oil Ltd. is cutting one billion barrels from its… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during a news conference about training for judges Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Justice Minister David Lametti proposes permanent justice reforms in wake of pandemic

OTTAWA — The COVID-19 pandemic appears set to force a modernization of… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday Nov. 26, 2020. Lametti says he will seek parliamentary approval to remove a Quebec judge from the bench after the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the judge’s appeal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Justice minister to seek judge’s removal after Supreme Court declines to hear appeal

OTTAWA — Justice Minister David Lametti says he will seek parliamentary approval… Continue reading

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is reeling after news defence chief… Continue reading

William Sandeson arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. Canada’s top court has declined to hear a Crown appeal of an overturned murder conviction in the case of a former Nova Scotia medical student. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Supreme Court declines to hear Crown appeal of overturned N.S. murder conviction

Canada’s top court has declined to hear an appeal from the Crown… Continue reading

Most Read