HURON COUNTY — A London resident faces 14 charges in connection with two rural vehicle thefts. Police, who nabbed the accused with the help of public tipsters, are urging vehicle owners to not leave keys in unlocked vehicles.
Huron County OPP say a pickup truck parked near a field was stolen July 19 from Belfast Road, in Ashfield Colborne Wawanosh Township. A witness observed another pickup — with red trailer — arrive and drop a male suspect off at the scene before both vehicles took off just before 2 p.m.
Multiple reports of suspicious activity in the area ensued, including a suspicious person looking for fuel. The description of the individual and involved vehicles fit the profile.
Based on the incoming tips, police patrolling the area spotted the stolen pickup, which fled to Ramsay Line. At that point, the driver got out and tried to get away on foot. Officers caught up to him.
Huron County OPP say they arrested London resident William Lindsay, 27. He’s charged with:
- Dangerous Operation
- Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000
- Fail to Comply with Probation Order (four counts)
- Operation while Prohibited under the Criminal Code (six counts)
- Driving While Under Suspension (two counts)
Meanwhile, police believe the white truck and red trailer were the same ones stolen in a separate incident, from beside a field on Base Line road. However, the theft of that truck-and-trailer combination wasn’t noticed until later, its loss reported to police at 8 p.m. Huron County OPP later recovered the truck on St. David Street, Mitchell, in Perth County, while the trailer turned up on Donnybrook Line in Central Huron.
At least one of the stolen trucks was left unlocked with the keys still in it, and police are emphasizing the need for farm vehicle owners to protect their property by locking up because the implications are bigger than simply making an insurance claim for an old, stolen truck.
“While no one was injured, it is important to remember that stolen vehicles are a danger on our roads,” the detachment says. “Unlocked vehicles, especially with keys left inside, are easy targets. Not only does it use a lot of police resources to investigate, but often the suspects have been using drugs prior to driving, and will flee from police. All vehicle owners and drivers are reminded to lock their vehicles, and prevent these thefts and dangerous driving incidents.”
Const. Jillian Johnson told Farmers Forum she was “surprised more people (in Perth and Huron counties) haven’t been hurt or killed” by thieves attempting to get away in stolen vehicles that were left unlocked with keys still ignition. The “vast majority” of vehicles stolen in those two counties fall into that category, she says.
“We encourage the public to employ measures that act as a criminal deterrent, including locking their vehicles, sheds and residences,” says Inspector Jason Younan, Huron County OPP Detachment Commander. “Please report suspicious activity as soon as possible, by either calling 911 in an emergency, or the non-emergency line at 1-888-310-1122.”