The Trail Horseman’s Society will be tightening security measures following a rash of thefts at the riding grounds.
The non-profit group is still in shock after discovering Sunday that the hot water tank in the clubhouse was stolen, along with diesel jerry cans, a microwave and an announcer system. The group can’t host a horse show or large clinicians without a PA system and is scrambling for answers.
“Someone went in there and drained the hot water tank, cut the tank and stole it,” said executive member and treasurer Margit Hinchcliffe.
“We’ve always locked (the property) in the winter time so yesterday (Sunday) we decided that we’d have it locked all the time and should anybody want to go down and ride they’re just going to have to contact one of the executives.”
Theft and nuisance on the Waneta property has spiked at various points in the 25 years she has been a member but the big items being hauled off the property in more recent years is troubling and could severely impact the group.
Before recent activity, wheelbarrows have been snatched up, along with other tools like pitchforks, hoses, wood shavings and even light bulbs from the barn. More recently, one culprit was so bold to remove a fence panel from a pen.
“The users now don’t have equipment to deal with day-to-day activity down there,” Hinchcliffe said. “The hot water tank and our announcer’s equipment will have to be replaced.”
The groups has been in contact with the local RCMP but is also taking the investigation to the streets and online by checking out pawn shops and other buy and sell groups.
“We just got our water system; we just got our well drilled because we’ve been without water for four years, so we were looking forward to have more events again,” she added.
“We didn’t think there was much value in there anyway; you know you kind of keep the honest people out.”
The group discovered about 10 days ago that a key was missing but didn’t take a close look to find items were too until this past weekend.
“It’s curious that someone knew where that was,” said Hinchcliffe.
The grounds are used by the horse riding community for the most part but at times, dog walkers or kids “burning donuts” frequent the area. Previously, the gate was kept open so that people pulling trailers could easily access the property.
“Your normal thefts or (break and enters) are stuff that is going to be marketable for people to sell or get rid of,” said Sgt. Darren Oelke of the Trail and Greater District Detachment. “Normally, the theft is occurring because somebody is doing it for drug money so they’ll target flat screen TVs, generators, power equipment, or guns.
“They’ll target things that can flip and sell easily. So typically no, we don’t get many thefts like that of random stuff like a water tank.”
Anyone with information regarding these thefts, should call the Trail RCMP at 250-364-2566 or reach out to club members via the Trail Horseman’s Society’s Facebook page.