A car was set on fire after a series of vehicle thefts in the Elk Valley two weeks ago.
It’s a problem that continues to plague the usually quaint chain of small towns that compose the Valley: car thefts and joyriding.
Sgt. Will Thien of the Elk Valley RCMP detachment said that it’s a persisting issue and the result of continued carelessness by residents. He added, “we want to believe that because we live in small towns we can leave our doors unlocked or our wallets in our cars, but we’re not as small as we think we are.”
Thien has long-suspected that information exists on the identities of what are most likely bored minors.
“When you have towns that don’t have dedicated programs to keep these kids busy, they get bored. And the thing that they seem to think is fun is stealing cars for joyrides around town and then vandalizing them,” explained Thien of the plight.
On August 22, a photo went up on the Elk Valley Garage Sale Facebook page capturing a local’s torched and abandoned car. Condolences quickly went out to the owner and complaints about continued vandalism were heard, but according to Thien none of these complaints can be constituted as actual evidence for the RCMP.
Police were able to do a forensic investigation on the vehicle two Monday’s ago. Thien said as of this point, they don’t have any leads.
In cases where a vehicle isn’t stolen, it’s likely its contents have been pilfered from. Loose change, iPhone charging cords and random, readily-usable items are amongst the top roster of items most likely nicked from cars, according to Thien.
He noted, “These cars aren’t being broken into, they’re simply being opened because they’ve been left unlocked. And when you live in a one-pawn shop town, kids aren’t going to take something of cash value. They’re going to take something that they can readily use themselves.”
Thien continues to advise citizens to air on the cautious side and try to keep doors to homes and cars locked with valuables out of sight.