High Country Rural Crime Watch: Recent News about Thefts in our Area

High Country Rural Crime Watch: Recent News about Thefts in our Area

It’s been a quiet month in the High Country, our paradisiacal home out here on the edge of the prairie somewhere west of Calgary. Unfortunately, just as a snake once entered the Garden of Eden to create chaos, on Friday, June 17, some snakes intruded into our paradise at around 5:30 a.m. It was on an acreage west of the Red Deer Lake School. The home owners’ dog barking alerted them, and they noticed a maroon sedan in their driveway. Within a few minutes a white panel van stopped outside the driveway, and then the two vehicles left together. Since “nothing ever gets stolen around here,” the couple had left their cars unlocked outside their house. Not a good plan.

Regrettably, things do get stolen “around here.” Later in that morning, the home owners were outside and noticed that the snakes had ransacked four cars and took some CDs, loose change, prescription glasses, a blanket, and a car registration with owner’s manual and insurance card. Except for the prescription glasses, the theft was more of an annoyance than a tragedy. She reported the incident to the R.C.M.P., but while the police could do nothing about what had happened, at least they now have information on file that may be valuable should these culprits strike again.

The moral of the story is that things really do get stolen “around here,” even if “here” is paradise. Do not wait until it happens to you.

  • If someone enters your driveway, inquire why?
  • Do not leave any of your unattended vehicles unlocked.
  • Hide or remove valuables, including garage door openers, from your vehicle so that they are not visible.
  • Keep spare keys in a secure location but not in or around your vehicle.
  • In addition to locking your vehicle, also lock your garage and house doors, even if you are nearby or away for only a short time.
  • Establish a routine to check all your doors and windows before you leave your home or go to bed.

We live close to Calgary, the largest city in Alberta, a province larger than all of France and much larger than all of Germany, Spain or the United Kingdom. Many Calgarians, either suffering from the current economic situation or involved in gang or drug-related activities, are heading our way to go shopping. For them, a trip to our High Country is like a trip to Costco only with a larger selection and lower costs!

If you see anything unusual that could suggest someone is preparing or committing a robbery: Observe; See what is happening; get a description of persons, vehicles, anything pertinent. Record; Write down time, place, licence numbers, anything pertinent. Take a photo if possible. Report; Call the R.C.M.P. as quickly as possible. Here are the numbers:


  To report suspicious
activity or crimes
For follow up during
business hours
Turner Valley (403) 933-4262 (403) 933-7227 911
Okotoks (403) 938-4202 (403) 938-4202
Cochrane (403) 932-2211 (403) 851-8000


Let them know what you saw, even if you think it is unimportant. The R.C.M.P. cannot be everywhere, so they need our help. Just think of ORR, the acronym of Observe, Record, and Report.

The R.C.M.P. has often told us how much they wish everyone here were members of the High Country Rural Crime Watch Association. Our members are aware of the importance of the ORR steps described above. If you would like to help the R.C.M.P., then join our organization. Thanks to a grant from Legacy Oil, membership is free and includes a High Country Rural Crime Watch Association sign that you can post on your property. As a member, your obligations are nil but then you will get mail or phone call messages describing recent and current criminal activity in our area. You will also learn about our free presentations on subjects of interest. Our last production was on what steps animal-owners should take to prepare for any emergencies such as a flood or a fire. To join our association, phone me at 403 931-2407. You can remember “2407” if you think that we should protect ourselves 24 hours a day, 07 days a week.

If you would like to see a surveillance camera video of an actual break-and-enter that occurred in southwest Calgary last April 4 around 4:20 p.m., Google “cbc aspen break”.

It happened when a woman was in her bedroom with her children on the second floor of her home. She heard a noise, looked out the window, but could see nothing. She left the room to check downstairs, then saw a man coming up the stairs. She ran back to her room, locked the door, and called 911. The offenders left the home before the police arrived.

The video shows a silver Dodge Avenger pulling up to the back of the home. A female gets out of the car and knocks on the door of the house. After about thirty seconds, she returns to the car, and two males get out. The men force their way into the home with a crowbar, steal a winter coat and two sets of keys, and then they flee the scene.

So, that’s the news from the High Country, where all the residents are law-abiding and all the children are perfect.


One of our members wrote:

Thanks for all your hard work. I have quite the itsy, bitsy lock on my mail box. What a different world from the days I used to come out to *** to visit my grandparents. . . I was once robbed of all my keys AND they had my legal land description. That night I had a nightmare that one of the thieves (the fellow whose role was to distract me) tried to break into my house. (Fortunately, I never had my identity stolen, nor my home invaded, nor any vehicle stolen.) I now think they were a bunch of kids living on the edge of dare. (They ran up my credit cards.) . . .

Nonetheless people have gone on my property in the past couple of years leaving evidence but no explanation, so your car alarm suggestion is appealing.

The woman mentioned in the High Country News column above described another, unrelated scam currently being tried:

What thieves are also doing with people who live on acreages—not so much here but north of Calgary, near Crossfield—is to come to your door and pretend, for example, that they are with the gas company and they need to do some surveying. They’ll say, “We have report of a gas leak” (or something like that), “so we need to have a look at your property.” They’ll have equipment and everything, but what they are really doing is to survey your property and see what you have that might be worth stealing later.

We live in a paradise, but we must be vigilant to keep it that way.

Warm regards,


John Robin Allen

Membership Coordinator

High Country Rural Crime Watch Association