A senior in Alix had two trucks stolen last year and is hoping the provincial government will take more action. (Black Press File Photo)
Bob Boesch said both his trucks were found but the damage was too extensive to repair the truck that was stolen in March 2021. (Black Press File Photo)

A senior in Alix had two trucks stolen last year and is hoping the provincial government will take more action. (Black Press File Photo) Bob Boesch said both his trucks were found but the damage was too extensive to repair the truck that was stolen in March 2021. (Black Press File Photo)

Vehicle thefts and break-ins impacting seniors in central Alberta

Driving a necessity in rural central Alberta

A senior in Alix who had two trucks stolen last year wants the province to do more to protect seniors’ who live in subsidized housing.

Bob Boesch, of Lakeview Manor in Alix, said apartment security is good at the subsidized senior apartments Lakeview Manor, but there’s nothing in place to protect seniors vehicles from being stolen or break-ins.

He said residents must sign an agreement saying neither those who operate the manor, nor the government is responsible for their vehicles, but vehicles are a necessity for the village residents to get to appointments and run errands.

“We can drive to Stettler to get groceries, or we can drive to Red Deer and get groceries. Irregardless, we still have to have vehicles,” Boesch said.

He said since last year he’s been in regular contact with Bethany Group and Lacombe Foundation which partner to operate Lakeview Manor.

“I contact them every time something happens out here. I called them Sunday about the guy’s truck being broken into Saturday night. I called them the week before because one of the other ladies got her vehicle keyed.”

Boesch said he’s been told that security measures were not in the budget.

“I understand to a point. The government only gives them so much. Why doesn’t the provincial government step up and put security in these places to help us feel safe?”

Bethany Group declined to comment on vehicle security and told the Advocate to contact Lacombe Foundation, who manages the apartments. Lacombe Foundation did not respond by press time.

Dylan Topal, Alberta Seniors and Housing spokesperson, said it was upsetting to hear about issues like auto theft from seniors.

“We will work with housing providers to ensure properties are as secure as possible,” Topal said in a statement.

He said the province is also standing up for rural Albertans by taking action to reduce response times, deter crime, and reinforce property rights.

“The Rural Alberta Provincial Integrated Defence initiative can help save time in an emergency by giving provincial peace officers the authority to answer a wider range of calls – this helps to assist and free up RCMP officers to respond to and investigate serious matters. All Albertans deserve a justice system that protects them, their loved ones, and their property,” Topal said.

Related:

Cpl. Troy Savinkoff, media relations officer with Alberta RCMP, said property crime, including vehicle theft, is the focus of RCMP Crime Reduction Units across Alberta.

“These crime reduction units have analysts and the analysts are constantly mining the data to determine what active crime trends are in your jurisdiction. Using that data they figure out who are the most active offenders that cause those crimes,” Savinkoff said.

He said about 95 per cent of crime is committed by about five per cent of the population. Recently RCMP recovered a stolen truck in Innisfail that was found by focusing on possible offenders.

He said unfortunately that truck, a brand new GMC Sierra truck, was left running with the doors unlocked, when it stolen from Red Deer. More than 50 per cent of vehicles are left running when they are stolen.

“Many, many times people just walk down the street, hitting as many doors as they can. If your door is unlocked, they are in your car. If it isn’t, they just move on to the next,” Savinkoff said.

Related:

Boesch said both of his trucks were locked when they were stolen.

“Doors are always locked. Keys are out. Around this neighbourhood, you make sure everything is locked.”

He said both his trucks were found. Damage was too extensive to repair the truck that was stolen in March 2021. He is still driving the truck stolen in September 2021, but there was a lot of damage he still needs to repair which is difficult on a fixed income.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

stolen autosVehicles

 

Bob Boesch said both his trucks were found but the damage was too extensive to repair the truck that was stolen in March 2021. (Black Press File Photo)

Bob Boesch said both his trucks were found but the damage was too extensive to repair the truck that was stolen in March 2021. (Black Press File Photo)