Teens charged with taking defribulators
Crime: Okotoks RCMP charge one teen with theft of life-saving device
By: Darlene Casten
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 06, 2013 11:58 am
One teen was thrown a lifeline and another faces criminal charges after a life-saving device was allegedly stolen from the Okotoks Recreation Centre. An Automated External Defribulator was taken from the busy building on Jan. 20, but Sgt. Ian Shardlow of the Okotoks RCMP said they were quickly able to identify the suspects thanks to footage from the rec centre’s video surveillance system.
“Surveillance got some really good pictures,” Shardlow said.
He said the teen girls admitted to being involved with the disappearance of the defribulator, which was returned. One of the girls was referred to the youth justice committee, but the other teen wasn’t eligible for the program and faces criminal charges of theft under $5,000.
Stealing a defribulator makes little sense, Shardlow said, and is serious because they are in place to resuscitate people in medical distress and are worth a lot of money.
The defribulator in this case was worth $3,000.
Susan Laurin, Town of Okotoks community services manager, said it was kept in a case with an alarm. She said she suspects the culprits were able to remove it fast enough staff didn’t hear the alarm.
She said the defribulator is essential to have in the recreation centre.
“It is there so should somebody, for whatever reason, no longer have a pulse, for example a heart attack, it is there for first responders,” she said.
Staff members are trained to use the defribulators and provide first aid as well, Laurin said.
She said it is important to act quickly in times of emergency.
“There is a 10 per cent reduction in mortality for every minute someone is without a pulse,” she explained.
It was upsetting someone would steal the life saving equipment, Laurin said.
“We were really quite disappointed that someone would take one,” she said. “It’s a lifesaving device.”
The girls accused of taking the defribulator are now banned from the Okotoks Recreation Centre.
Neither of the teens can be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.