The RCMP updated Strathmore on their goals for the year and recent crime at the regular Strathmore town council meeting on Wednesday.

Strathmore RCMP Detachment Commander Staff Sgt Mark Wielgosz updated councillors on the RCMP policing plan for the upcoming year and addressed policing in the past year

“I set out and made perhaps an overly ambitious goal, reduce our crimes in these targeted areas by another 5 per cent over the last year, we've seen a steady decrease of crime in these areas over the last five years. As anticipated, we're seeing, based on the changes in the economy and how our public health restrictions are loosening a bit that there is some elevated crime. And what we did see is that this last calendar year we had an increase in theft from motor vehicles. However, we did achieve our crime reduction goals with theft from motor vehicles and break and enters in the fiscal year,” Wielgosz said.

Wielgosz also shared details on the successes of recent checkstops in the Strathmore areas and a new car theft prevention initiative called Operation Cold Start which focuses on preventing vehicle thefts of idling cars in winter months. 

“The program evolved by keeping an eye on vehicles to check and see if they were running unattended or unlocked. We did find 61 vehicles during that period of time and that's just within the town of Strathmore that we're running with keys in them and unlocked. There were 57 vehicles found idling but locked, which is good. That's what we're looking for, and they enable us to have interactions with owners. So when these vehicles were found, we tried to find the owner and communicate with them, educate them on the risks associated with leaving your vehicle unattended, unlocked and running, especially in the cold winter months.”

In addition, Wielgosz also lent insight into what happens to most stolen vehicles in the Strathmore area.

“Typically, what we're seeing around here is vehicles being stolen to be re-vined or just used to commit other crimes. I can say the majority of vehicles that we see stolen in this area are typically recovered in and around Calgary. Depending on the state of the vehicle when it's found, it may need some repair, sometimes it may not be repairable and at times, depending on the crimes committed, could be burned,” Wielgosz said.

Wielgosz also addressed new youth rehabilitation programs and license plate theft prevention programs in his address. 

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