More robberies, assaults with weapons in Thompson this year over last, public safety committee hears

Arrests made in relation to recent thefts and incidents involving machetes

Assaults with weapons and robberies are up significantly in 2019 from where they were in 2018, Thompson RCMP Staff Sgt. Chris Hastie told the public safety committee at their June 13 meeting.

There have been 156 assaults with weapons reported in 2019 compared to 111 in the same timeframe last year, while year-to-date robberies have jumped from 12 in 2018 and 15 in 2017 to 25 so far in 2019.

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“There is a bit of an increase in that sort of crime,” Hastie said. “We have been solving a lot of the recent robberies in town.”

Thompson RCMP recently arrested a youth from Thompson in relation to a June 4 incident in Juniper in which a 14-year-old was chased by a group of youth armed with machetes. To do so, they had to obtain a Feeney warrant, which a 2017 blog post by Stuart O’Connell of Donich Law Professional Corporation says requires police to satisfy a judicial officer that a person who has committed or is about to commit an indictable offence is in a residence. Hastie said the warrant was required because the suspect’s family was not willing to allow police to enter the home to arrest the youth.

Arrests have also been made regarding a recent theft of machetes and an assault near the Deerwood splash pad. A 12-year-old girl carrying a machete was arrested near the bowling alley June 11.

“This is what we’re dealing with,” Hastie said.

RCMP are still investigating three May 30 stabbings near Walmart, the homeless shelter and on a trail near Princeton Towers.

The month of May saw more sexual assaults, break-and-enters and sexual assaults reported to Thompson RCMP than in the same month a year ago, but assaults were slightly down from May 2018.

Sexual assaults went from four in May of last year to nine this year, while break-and-enters doubled from five to 10 and thefts were at 50 compared to 34 in May 2018. May saw 103 assaults reported to police compared to 115 in 2018.

“Assaults are down,” Hastie said. “Shoplifting is up a bit.”

Hastie attributed the rise in shoplifting reports to the diligence of City Centre Mall security guards.

The public safety committe doesn't meet again until September.

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