Hundreds of charges have been laid in a police sting that targeted chronic property crime in the Lethbridge area and police say the majority of the offences are connected to the drug trade.

Police launched an investigation in May and recovered $411,755 worth of stolen property.

Officers executed 23 warrants and arrested 45 people during the investigation.

Police seized:

  • 24 stolen vehicles
  • 9 firearms
  • $13,520 worth of drugs

 “The intent of this project was to specifically target chronic offenders in this city who are responsible for property crimes and that’s exactly what we did,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Walper, Lethbridge ALERT. “A great deal of the property crime in this community is rooted in the drug trade so it made sense to bring together our Priority Crimes Unit and Lethbridge ALERT to really focus our efforts and as the name of the project suggests, clean up our streets.”

Tips to reduce the risk of property crime:

  • Never leave an unattended vehicle running or with the keys inside – even if you will only be gone for a minute
  • Park in a garage or well-lit area
  • Never leave anything of value inside your vehicle in plain sight – cash ( even small change for parking meters), electronics, sunglasses, clothing, fuel cards, etc. are all commonly targeted  items
  • Always lock your vehicle and ensure the windows are up
  • When you are working in your backyard, make sure the doors to your home are locked as you may not hear or see someone enter
  • Always keep bicycles, lawn mowers, tools, etc. in a locked shed or garage
  • Install motion sensor lights at all entrances to your home and garage as criminals prefer to rely on the cover of darkness and a bright light coming on will often thwart a break-in

Police say 230 criminal charges were laid and that the investigation cleared 68 cases.