by Stephen Dafoe

Police are investigating a half dozen commercial break-ins that occurred in Morinville over the month of April. Kelley’s Deli and Bakery was among the local businesses illegally entered; however, Morinville RCMP are not releasing the other businesses hit pending obtaining permission to do so from the owners.

Corporal Sheldon Robb of the Morinville RCMP said while it is possible the same person or group committed the crimes, it is also possible a number of people or groups were involved.

“There’s a good chance it can be the same people, but we can’t rule out other people as well,” Robb said, adding the incidences have occurred between midnight and the early morning hours.

The RCMP corporal did not want to speculate on whether the current unusual rash or break-ins were related to current economic conditions.

“It could be tied to the economy where people ae running out of money, and we are also not ruling out people who are addicted to drugs and need some money for a quick fix,” Robb said.

The RCMP are currently investigating the crimes. Robb said they were looking at patterns and other modus operandi.

“In a few cases we have our forensic identification department come out and look for fingerprints,” Robb said. “It is going to take a bit of time to come up with those results, and we’re hoping those results will pan out.”

As the investigations proceed, RCMP are offering some tips to local businesses to help them avoid becoming victims of crime. Robb recommends a good alarm system as a deterrent, noting that the presence of an alarm sign can often be enough to ward off potential criminals and a crime stopper when activated.

“They may breach the door, but they will soon leave if something is going off,” Robb said. “An alarm system does work.”

He also recommends security cameras or game tracker cameras, and good lighting as additional tools. Roll down windows and doors are also options for those who want to enhance shop security.

Police are encouraging residents to phone in any suspicious activity or vehicles by calling the police.

“If something seems out of the ordinary, it probably is,” Robb said. “So don’t hesitate to call either 911 or the detachment at 780-939-4520.

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