Thieves using land storage scam
Foothills: Stolen property being recovered from unknowing land owners
By: Roxanne Blackwell
| Posted: Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 06:00 am
RCMP are warning rural residents in the area to be cautious about renting out their land for storage, after two people were charged recently with possession of stolen property near Okotoks.
Okotoks RCMP Sgt. Donna Rorison said unsuspecting landowners on acreages across Southern Alberta have been falling prey to seemingly nice people who scout out the vacant property and then befriend the owner and offer to pay a monthly fee for storage, which they use for stolen items.
“The person is completely unsuspecting that the trailer on their property is full of stolen tools, or the shed that they’re renting to them is full of stolen goods,” she said.
RCMP revealed the thieves have been committing large scale property crimes, including trailers, campers, RVs, quads and vehicles, and are then seeking out properties to store the items.
“They’re usually friendly and personable,” Rorison said. “They’ll just say ‘oh yeah we brought another truck in last night,’ because it’s all happening at weird times and they will have weird reasons as to why they’re doing that – they’re a mechanic or what ever their story is.”
Rorison said they’re hoping to make more people aware of the scam, and encourage people not to be afraid to call the RCMP if they see something suspicious.
“Sometimes people are afraid that they’re pointing the finger at somebody innocent, but if we know that then we don’t bother them at all and the information goes no further than a phone call to us,” she said. “But if its something that makes them nervous, people can get a plate number off something and better we approach them than somebody else does.”
If you believe somebody may be storing stolen items on your property, contact your local RCMP detachment or report it to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-tips (8377)