The City of Fort McMurray has seen an increase in the number of break-ins in the downtown area. The mayor and RCMP want to express that residents are being heard, and their concerns aren’t being ignored.
“In 2021, a total of 164 break-ins occurred. 70 of those being targeted at businesses, and the remaining 94, being residential. So far in 2022, we have had roughly 25,” says Fort McMurray RCMP member Cpl. Lacey Blair.
Many of the owners in the downtown area are left feeling helpless after countless break-ins and have been forced to take matters into their own hands regarding the safety of their stores.
“It seems like no one seems to care. This is what I’m trying to say about all of this. We put $8000 security cameras up. That’s a lot of money for a company that doesn’t make $1,000,000 a year, and was told by the RCMP, my cameras still weren’t good enough. The public is so misled about what’s going on here, the criminal activity and the side effects, the social effects and the mental effects of these break-ins.” – Burton Geikie, Owner of Stratosphere Sports
Many of the residents within town are starting to wonder what changes can be made to protect these homes and businesses.
Mayor Sandy Bowman commented that they are in discussion with the RCMP about getting something done about these break-ins.
“I think it’s going to be solved by working together with the community and even tips,” said Bowman. “We really need to increase presence of RCMP downtown. They’re moving a detachment down by the Jubilee Centre again where it was years ago.”
“So, it will take all of us working together, with the RCMP, and the Peace Officers to hopefully get this to come to an end sooner or later.”
Superintendent Mark Hancock, Lead RCMP dealing with the break-ins, states “More news coming soon on this. We are on it and hopefully there is some good resolution to this very soon.”