Though camping has pretty much wound down at Calgary West Campground in Alberta, Canada, many trailers remain in storage for the off-season. But that hasn’t deterred thieves who have stolen more than 100 batteries since the Labour Day weekend. Staff said thieves have been coming at night to take batteries from trailers being stored there for the winter, reports Global News Canada.
On Sept. 21, suspects were caught on camera carrying the batteries away in the early morning hours.
“It wasn’t happening in the summer,” campground manager Mei Lam said. “It was happening on Labour Day long weekend and at least about 60 trailers were involved. And most of the trailers have two batteries. At least 120 batteries have been cut off and we recovered about 50 of them.”
Campground staff found piles of batteries stashed on their property, Lam added. She figures the culprits were waiting to come by to gather them later.
Police said the thefts are happening everywhere from construction sites to campgrounds to driveways in Calgary. Acting Sgt. Craig Stothard said that thieves are getting around $20 for a standard car battery and more for larger RV ones when they take them to scrap metal yards.
Police said they are in contact with metal recycling facilities that are keeping an eye out for suspicious deliveries of batteries.
“We do work with those places in our investigations and they will reach out to us as well if they see anything suspicious,” Stothard said. “They do record anyone who comes in and recycles copper or batteries and things like that. You have to show identification and often they take license plates down on vehicles that are selling items so we can follow up.”
“RV batteries are very heavy and you can only take them to so many places and they’re expensive,” Silver Springs resident Ray Crerar said. “They retail anywhere from $170 to $200 bucks for one battery and most people have two.”
Campground staff have installed more cameras and lighting, and are advising people to remove their batteries or install a lock bar over them.