Snowmobile thefts yet to be curbed

No one takes the bait during winter policing initiative.

Word of mouth wasn’t a good thing for the Sicamous RCMP when it came to curbing snowmobile theft last winter.

Upon asking Sicamous council to consider what their list of policing priorities will be for 2013, Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Dave Dubnyk received a tip from Coun. Greg Kyllo as to what one priority will likely be when he raised the ongoing issue of snowmobile and trailer thefts in the community.

“We’re trying to build up our snowmobiling business and when a guy shows up for the weekend and has his sled stolen, that story spreads really quickly, and it’s brought in a real negative view of snowmobiling in Sicamous,” said Kyllo, asking if there was something police could do about this.

“Absolutely,” replied the community’s relatively new RCMP detachment commander, going on to explain this is the first time he’s lived and worked in such an snowmobiling mecca and has actually been confronted by this issue. Dubnyk went on to say that he’s already met with the mayor and discussed some initiatives from an enforcement perspective, as well as what the district and resort owners might be able to do.

“I can tell you that over the winter we did, for a while, try the bait sled here,” said Dubnyk. “It wasn’t overly successful. Other than in saying when the word had got out it was in town, we didn’t have any thefts during that time…

“There are some initiatives we can try and I’m glad to explore those, and we can certainly make it one of our priorities.”

Kyllo had another question for the sergeant relating to pub patrons possibly being targeted by police.

“Is that something that’s well within the RCMPs ability, to pull over a vehicle randomly just because they happen to leave a particular restaurant/pub establishment?” asked Kyllo.

Dubnyk said it was difficult to answer in general terms but, based on experience, if a vehicle is seen leaving an establishment whose primary purpose is the sale of alcohol, he might, with public safety in mind, pull that  vehicle over.

“I know a particular individual has been in there all night, it’s absolutely not targeting…,” said Dubnyk. “A lot of times, unbeknownst to pub and restaurant owners, we will get phone calls, a lot of times anonymous, telling us of someone who has been drinking in an establishment all night. And at the end of the day, I hope it’s not perceived as targeting any particular individual. It’s just… trying to reduce the number of injuries and deaths from alcohol-related infractions.”