A total of six snowmobiles have been stolen in and around Revelstoke this snow season. In addition, three trucks and one trailer have also been stolen in conjunction with the sled thefts.
Revelstoke RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Kim Hall said RCMP believed organized groups of criminals were responsible. One of the thefts was caught on a surveillance video. A group of three men are seen committing the theft, but the RCMP were unable to identify them based on that video.
“As soon as they’re picking them up, they’re getting them out of town,” Hall said. She encouraged snowmobile owners to take precautions such as locking vehicles and adding anti-theft immobilizers to trucks that don’t have them.
She also advised recording the serial or vehicle identification numbers of your snowmobile and to park in well-lit area covered by video cameras. Owners should “take the responsibility of doing what they can to ensure this doesn’t happen,” Hall said.
In 2011, the province unveiled a new ‘bait’ vehicle initiative modelled after the successful “bait car” program in the Lower Mainland.
The much-publicized program tempts thieves by leaving bait cars in theft hot spots. Once stolen, technology built into the cars guide police to an easy arrest by disabling the car, locking its doors and providing video of the theft. The new program includes ‘bait’ snowmobiles, trailers, boats, ATVs and motorcycles. In early 2011, Revelstoke RCMP said they were working to bring the bait trailers and sleds here.
Is it in place? “I wouldn’t be able to tell you if it was,” Sgt. Hall told the Times Review. “Because if we were to have one up here, we wouldn’t want people to know that at this point. Is it something that is available? Yes, it is available to us.”
Here are the details on the thefts:
On Nov. 13, 2011 a 2002 Ford pickup and a 2010 Polaris Dragon snowmobile were stolen from Laforme Boulevard at about 1:25 a.m.
On Nov. 22, 2011, a Ford F-350 with a 2010 Ski-Doo Summit snowmobile on the back was stolen from Third St. East. The truck and snowmobile was recovered by the Chase RCMP. Police contacted the owner and informed him of the theft before he was aware of it.
The grinches struck on Christmas day, stealing two sleds and a trailer from Wilson Street. They were a 2001 Polaris and another 2006 sled. The theft was reported around 9 p.m.
On Feb. 8, 2012, a truck and two sleds were reported stolen just after it happened at about 6 p.m. The truck was recovered, but two 2010 Arctic Cat M8 Snow Pros are still missing.
On Feb. 9, there was an attempted theft of a 2005 Ford F-350 with two snowmobiles on the back.