Leader staff

Crooks are cruising in the area in a stolen vehicle, Slave Lake RCMP Staff Sgt. Don Racette told The Leader on Jan. 10, and they are likely looking for other cars or trucks to steal.

“Lock up your vehicles,” he said.

It turned out Racette was right on the money in his suspicions, because the pair was located and arrested later that same day on a rural property near Morinville. And they were not there for the good of their health.

“They were there to steal another vehicle,” Racette said.

Racette had said in his initial report that, “two guys” in a stolen truck were last spotted in Smith, “scoping the town out.” He was hoping for all the help he could get in alerting the public to the threat. The culprits, he said, were driving a light-blue-ish 2010 Silverado pickup, which was stolen earlier in High Prairie.

Racette explained how the crime spree ended.

“They got stuck,” he said. Then they went a neighbouring property to get help. The neighbours, suspicious, called the RCMP, who “responded very quickly,” and made the arrest.

One (maybe both) of the suspects is quite familiar to police in this area. Racette said in fact he had been jailed for earlier thefts late last year. But, frustratingly, “within a couple of weeks” of being released, he was back at the theft game. Racette said the one culprit is the same one who is suspected of stealing a vehicle from the RCMP detachment in September of last year (‘Police vehicle stolen in Slave Lake’ – Oct. 6 Lakeside Leader). One of the suspects was to appear in Slave Lake Provincial Court on Jan. 12 on separate matters.

Racette expressed some frustration with the system that allows such people to spend so little time behind bars.

“But at least they’re off the street for now,” he says.