Two men are facing theft-related charges after a break and enter was caught on the victim’s video trail camera.
Three Hills RCMP’s Crime Reduction Unit began investigating the theft of a truck from Three Hills and a break and enter at a rural property near Huxley, about 25 km north, that police believed were related.
At Three Hills, the suspects stolen a Honda Big Red 3 Wheeler all terrain vehicle, assorted tools and a trail camera that had been placed in a shop on the property by the owner.
RCMP later received a call after a vehicle was spotted trespassing on an oilfield lease site near Three Hills.
“The male suspect was confronted by workers and a video was obtained,” said RCMP in a news release on Wednesday.
The workers then saw someone on a three-wheeler driving on to the lease site. The ATV was later found by police abandoned on a nearby road.
The truck was found abandoned on a rural property near Three Hills after a member of the public came across it and called police.
Both the truck and the three-wheeler were later identified as the stolen vehicles.
“Police searched the stolen truck and located a trail camera inside. The video files on the trail camera were viewed, and two male suspects were seen committing the break, enter and theft at the rural property near Huxley,” said RCMP.
The male suspects were identified and tracked down at a property near Three Hills.
Both suspects were arrested. Police allege that during the arrest an officer was assaulted by being spit on.
“It was a minor assault, but something we obviously take very seriously,” said Three Hills RCMP Sgt. Jamie Day.
Day said RCMP have been working with communities and local property owners, especially those in rural areas, to help them make their properties safer.
“We’ve really tried to educate the public through crime prevention through environmental design,” said Day.
Police have worked with other enforcement agencies and Kneehill and Red Deer Counties, who can provide an environmental design assessment of properties.
“We really push that with the public, that this is your property and we want to make sure you have that protected.”
Among the common recommendations are improving lighting and having a video surveillance system installed.
Day said it is not clear if the suspects stole the trail camera for its value or if they were worried that it had been recording them. In this case it had recorded the break-in and police were able to identify suspects, who were known to police.
A 33-year-old Trochu man has been charged with break, enter and theft, disguised with intent to commit an offence and assaulting a police officer. He remains in custody and is due in Drumheller provincial court on Friday.
A 41-year-old man from Kneehill County has been charged with break, enter and theft, disguise with intent to commit an offence, possession of property obtained by crime and operating a motor vehicle while prohibited.
He was released after posting $1,000 bail and is due in Drumheller court on Jan. 20.
“Three Hills RCMP encourage the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future.”
If you see a crime in progress dial 911. Information can also be provided by calling the local RCMP detachment or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or by downloading the P3 Mobile App.