Original Published on Sep 21, 2022 at 06:00

By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A Trochu man facing charges stemming from a 2021 arrest, was handed an 18-month suspended sentence in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, September 16.

 The court heard how Three Hills RCMP set up a trail camera on a rural property near the Town of Trochu in February 2021 due to reports of suspected drug trafficking in the area.

 A day after the trail camera was installed, it captured a vehicle-described as a blue GMC Sierra-make a turn onto the range road being observed with two people inside at approximately 11:45 p.m.

 It was determined the license plate was not registered to the GMC Sierra, but rather a vehicle of a different make and model, and Three Hills RCMP conducted a traffic stop. 

 Christopher Weich of Trochu was identified as the driver, and his passenger was identified as Simon May, also of Trochu.

 During the traffic stop RCMP observed the ignition of the vehicle was punched out and, upon running the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) it was determined the vehicle, valued at approximately $2,000, had been reported stolen from a Calgary transit station on February 1.

 Crown prosecution suggested a suspended sentence with 18 months probation for Mr. Weich, with the condition Mr. Weich maintains a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for the first six months of his probation period, abstain from the consumption of illicit substances, and have no contact with his co-accused, Simon May, except through court or legal counsel.

 Mr. Weich was also ordered to pay a $100 victim fine surcharge and given time to pay until October 31, 2022.

 All other charges were withdrawn.

Original Published on Sep 21, 2022 at 06:00

Crime up, residents should report crimes to RCMP, not social media say Drumheller police

By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The number of criminal offences the Drumheller RCMP tackled between April and June 2022 has increased by 15 per cent compared to the same period in 2021 according to the quarterly update presented by acting commander Corporal Alexander MacDonald during the regular Tuesday, September 6 regular Town of Drumheller council meeting.

 Cpl. MacDonald notes, although these numbers have increased, this is partially attributed to an increase in public engagement and reporting, and changes in staffing at the detachment.

 “We have had a lot of success in identifying suspects in thefts lately due to assistance from the public-surveillance video, Crime Stoppers tips, photos, et cetera,” Cpl. MacDonald tells the Mail.

 Along with the increase in total offences, Cpl. MacDonald noted the number of traffic offences increased by 88 per cent compared to 2021; this, he says, is a combination of detachment members being more visible in the community and initiating more traffic stops, as well as filling a vacant traffic position.

 He also added, although the number of Controlled Drugs and Substance Act (CDSA) and federal offences have decreased-both by 69 per cent compared to 2021-these are due to a Crime Reduction
member transferring and the position remaining vacant due to other vacancies in the detachment.

 Cpl. MacDonald says the detachment has noticed an increased number of residents posting about small crimes on social media groups and pages rather than to the RCMP.

 “We encourage everyone to report thefts, whether they think it is important or not,” Cpl. MacDonald said. “We will investigate any and every theft complaint that comes in, so we don’t want the public to feel like their complaint is not worth reporting.”

 He also reminds the public to ensure their property is secured, whether it be their car, shed, or home. 

 Cpl. MacDonald notes some recent thefts were crimes of opportunity and could have been prevented by locking vehicles or not leaving keys inside unoccupied vehicles. 

 Especially with colder temperatures around the corner, Cpl. MacDonald adds it is very important to ensure vehicles are locked while being warmed in the morning, and keys are not left inside the vehicle where possible.

This item reprinted with permission from   The Drumheller Mail   Drumheller, Alberta
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