Don’t Forget Your Tools – A Short Story on Crime in Edmonton’s Industrial Parks

Crime and No Punishment
A Story With a Bad Title and a Sad Ending

Last month, a construction worker parked his truck in a fenced yard compound behind his company’s building.  While he had parked there countless times before, that night was the first time he forgot to take his tools.  It turned out to be a costly oversight, as a thief broke into the yard, then broke the driver’s side window.  Naturally he was after the tools, but to make it even worse the thief also stole the passenger door.   Unless the thief had brought his own tools, it’s conceivable that he used the very tools he just stole to remove the door.  The employee arrived in the morning to see his tools were gone, his window was broken and one of his doors was missing.  What sort of monster steals the door off a guy’s vehicle using the very tools he broke in to steal?

Some thieves are even more daring.   A recent example involves a break-in at a vacant industrial building in south Edmonton.  While it may not sound lucrative to break into a building with nothing in it, this thief (or thieves) was rather enterprising as the entire building was stripped of copper wiring.  There is a market for scrap metal and it’s difficult (if not impossible) to trace the source of it.  Find a scrap metal depot that doesn’t ask questions, add in some brazen thieves and you’ll understand how a vacant building in the middle of an industrial park gets broken in to.

Industrial parks are easy targets for theft as there is often nobody around and the areas are poorly lit.   Security cameras are also not overly common, so there is often no physical evidence that police can use to find the suspects.  Edmonton police do an incredible job, and we greatly appreciate the hard work they do, but the chances of these thieves getting caught is pretty low.

There are some helpful resources available to better secure your property and reduce the chances of being burglarized.   UCIT, a security company, offers a couple suggestions:

–  Install motion-activated lights around entrances, roofs, roof access ladders, windows, and other points of entry;
–  Pay for an on-site and / or remote security guard.  Remote security guards can watch multiple entrances with outdoor security cameras and call the police if suspicious behavior occurs.

Finally, we strongly recommend reporting any and all crimes to the police.  While it may seem like tedious work, it does alert the police to patterns and it might prompt more attention given to areas with repetitive crime.  The Edmonton Police have an online reporting tool and they even have a mobile app.

Adding some security measures and reporting crimes will hopefully result in less people being forced to drive in the middle of winter without a passenger door.

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