Winter is here and snowmobile thieves have returned to Revelstoke.
The Revelstoke RCMP reported two thefts of vehicles and snowmobiles early Tuesday morning.
First, at about 2:45 a.m., a Ford F-350 pickup truck and Ski-Doo Summit snowmobile were stolen from the 700 block of Eighth Street East.
Three hours later, RCMP received a report that a Dodge truck, snowmobile trailer and two Polaris RMK snowmobiles were stolen from Oscar Street in Southside.
At about 8:30 a.m., the Dodge truck and the trailer were found, but the snowmobiles were not located. The Ford F-350 was found not long after, without the snowmobile.
Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky said he would not reveal where the trucks were found, saying he hoped that information could be used in the investigation.
“They were recovered in very close proximity to where they were stolen,” he added.
He said there was no evidence the thefts were by the same people, but based on the fact the thefts were done in close time and proximity to each other that “it would only make sense this was planned and by the same people.”
“We’ll be working very diligently to figure out if this was organized crime, what exactly was going on and, as mentioned in the news release, really trying to encourage people to come up with prevention methods,” he said.
The RCMP is reminding residents to secure their snowmobiles with a variety of theft deterrents, such as video cameras, chains and locks. “Anything to keep it safe and combat the theft,” he said.
Grabinsky said one trailer was well-protected with chains and a locking hitch, but the thieves were still able to make off with the truck, trailer and sleds.
“We’re talking people with fairly aggressive means,” he said. “I’m not going to hide it from people – they need to combat it with fairly aggressive means as well.”
Grabinsky noted that Revelstoke is one of the top spots for snowmobile theft in Canada and he said RCMP would be using the bait sled program at some point this winter to try and tackle the problem.
“We rate success on how we do the next year, and until we start really solving this problem, we’re not finding success yet, and we’re trying to do that,” he said.
The RCMP is asking anyone with information about the thefts to contact the detachment at 250-837-5255 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.