When the credit union staff arrived for work on Monday this is what part of their building looked like.
Sometime around 3am an excavator was stolen at a nearby construction site and as then driven to this building and used to rip the ATM out of the building. When done, they put the ATM on a stolen truck and drove away.
A post on social media about this has been wildly entertaining with over 200,000 people seeing it within 3 days. That is roughly 1 in 20 adults in Alberta.
Global News also reached out asking if they could use the photos. Others with big followings also shared it so the real number could be 1 in 10 adults in Alberta hear about it pretty soon.
Apparently there is an even bigger story. From the Red Deer Advocate:
Privately, I've heard on or about the same night four other businesses in the same small town were broken into.
I think there are some very important things every home owner should be aware of when you read about these kinds of crimes.
There are insights about keeping your risk managed that matter a lot more than just seeing what kind of damage was done to steal an ATM.
The monthly crime stats I compile that compare one places crime rate with another showed things were heating up in Rimbey as early as a couple months ago.
Look at these numbers below.
In May, Rimbey rose to having the 4th highest crime rate in the province with 8.57 crimes per 1,000 residents. When you are the 4th highest its called a crime wave.
In May Drayton Valley, 115km away had the 15th highest crime rate in the province at 6.08.
And Rocky Mountain House, 70km away had the 24th highest crime rate at 4.73.
When the two nearest towns have crime rates almost as high you know this area is being targeted.
Back in March, Rimbey, Drayton Valley and Rocky Mountain House all had much lower crime rate.
Rimbey was 5.06 not 8.57. Still very high but not extreme.
Drayton Valley was 3.32 not 6.08
Rocky Mountain House was 2.51 not 4.73
Over just two months, these are really big jumps in the level of property crime! Look at this on a percentage basis.
Rimbey 69% increase
Drayton Valley 83% increase
Rocky Mountain House 88% increase
This summer things are likely to stay the same or get worse in these places, not better.
It may not be businesses like this, but it could easily be oil lease sites and home owners who are the next victims.
Here’s the thing with watching a cycle like this play out a few times.
When you see crimes like this pick up all over an area for weeks on end, it is telling the criminals that security is so bad in this area, it’s like wild dogs who have lost their fear of humans.
I was told by my Mom that wild dogs will keep on hunting humans until they are put down or find an easier food source.
I've seen criminals behave in the same way. Once a crime cycle like this picks up, it will usually end in an arrest, a shootout, or a few innocent people dying and complete community outrage.
Ending with an arrest is the most common and likely outcome.
Usually after a high profile crime like this, the RCMP Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) ‘cowboys’ will come in, seize a bunch of property, and make a bunch of arrests and break the thing up in that area for a while.
These special teams are focused, well financed and have lots of support.
Their investigations are shorter and should only take three to six months to complete.
If you live in the area you can cross your fingers and wait for the news something has been done.
While people are away on summer holidays, away working, in the field harvesting or at home sleeping, these repeat offenders can easily strike a lot of places and keep the cycle going.
Most of these residential crimes take less than 20 minutes and the homeowner won't even know they took place for over eight hours later.
A gun to protect your property in almost 100% of property crimes is not helpful.
If hoping and waiting doesn’t seem like the best strategy, the other thing you can try is to put in a level of security on your property that will stop a crime before it happens.
I know a way to make home security over 1000% better.
Your security, if it is done right, can cause the criminal to take a fourth option.
The fourth option is your home security is so much more effective than anything they’ve ever seen before they decide to move somewhere else.
I won’t go into the details in this post, but the methods are pretty simple and yet very effective.
The same way people can’t help but look at how an excavator stole an ATM, can be used to put an extreme amount of social pressure on the criminal that they won't want to try crimes for a while in the area anymore.
The same approach is legal and respectful so it also leverages policing and the court system very nicely.
All at zero risk and almost zero time.
It works so well most people have a hard time believing it, because they’ve never seen anything like this before.
After seeing hundreds of failures and a few successes it eventually led me to seeing how this fourth option can be done consistently.
It came from asking over and over ‘What is it going to take to solve every single problem a property owner has?’
Eventually, one by one the answers built on themselves.
Crossing fingers isn't needed.