(File Photo)

(File Photo)

RCMP reminding motorists to be aware of opportunistic crimes while travelling

Rimbey RCMP is reminding motorists to be diligent on the road after a recent incident along Highway 20 that they believe may have been an attempted carjacking or kidnapping.

Persons in need of help or hitchhikers

Do not stop or pick up hitchhikers, especially if you are by yourself, male or female. Call the local police detachment and an officer will go check on them and make sure they are okay.

The same goes for persons in need of road assistance. Police will have the resources needed to best aid that person, whether that is a tow truck company or someone to help change a flat tire. In the meantime they will keep the situation from becoming a road hazard. As much as you want to help, there are too many cases of criminal’s exploiting people’s good intentions for their own purposes. It is not worth the risk.

Paper in the windshield

A piece of paper is placed under your windshield wipers. It’s small enough so you don’t notice it until you get into the vehicle or are driving away. The natural reaction is to stop the vehicle, step out and retrieve the paper, often while leaving the vehicle running or the keys inside the car.

This makes it easy for the individual who placed the paper there to rush in and either take you or your vehicle. If you notice a piece of paper on the windshield, first take note of your surroundings. Are there any vehicles or vans parked unreasonably close to yours? If you are already driving make sure no one is following you. If you feel you are being followed, which can usually be determined by making four right-hand turns, drive straight to your local RCMP station. Do not go home. If no one is following you, wait until you get home to remove the paper or pull over in a well populated area, shut the vehicle off while keeping the vehicle locked.

Observe your surroundings for one to two minutes to make sure no one is close or trying to get close to you and when you feel it is safe to do so, you can step out of your vehicle to retrieve the piece of paper.

Baby in a car-seat

A covered car seat in the ditch with what appears to be a baby which usually turns out to be a doll. This is more of a kidnapping/carjacking tactic as often it is women who pull over to investigate. If you ever see a car seat on the side of the road, immediately call the police. You can pull over and observe from a safe distance keeping our vehicle doors locked until police arrive.

Opportunity

Many instances of vehicle thefts/carjacking’s and kidnapping’s are crimes of opportunity. For instance, a vehicle idling with no occupant or a woman looking over her grocery receipt in her car with the door/s unlocked and not paying attention to her surroundings. These crimes can be avoided by always being aware of your surroundings when you’re out in public, locking your vehicles or not stopping to help or pick up people you are not acquainted with.

In the last two weeks, Rimbey RCMP responded to 55 calls.

These files include four mischief and/or damage to property complaints, six thefts of property or vehicles, three traffic collisions, two suspicious persons and or vehicles and two break-ins.

If you have information on any crime, contact your local RCMP Detachment at 403-843-2224 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Crime Stoppers can also be contacted online at www.P3tips.com, or you can download the P3 Tips app for Android or Apple on your smart phone. You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers. If you provide information to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash award.

There is Online Crime Reporting recently made available by downloading the Alberta RCMP app. This is a fast and easy way to report a crime you know to have occurred. This method of reporting is for non-emergencies only. If it is an urgent request or an emergency, please call 911.