Commercial thefts spike by 70% in Calgary over 2014

Calgary police are blaming higher drug use and the economic downturn for a 70 per cent increase in commercial thefts compared to last year.

Police blame opiate drug use and economy on rising commercial thefts

There has been a spike in commercial thefts in Calgary, including at new home-build sites and where metal is stored. (Canadian Press)

Calgary police are blaming higher drug and the economic downturn for a 70 per cent increase in commercial thefts compared to last year.

The statistic also includes robbing from construction sites, such as new home build sites and fenced off areas where metal is stored.  

Supt. Kevin Stuart says there is an evolving drug scene in the city, which has contributed to the spike in robberies.  

"Calgary has seen a reduction in marijuana, powder cocaine and crack cocaine demand and a higher demand for the opiate drugs, oxycontin, heroin and in particular the fentanyl drugs, which are highly addictive [and] very dangerous when you're coming down, which means you need to get another hit of the fentanyl again," said Stuart.

He also cited the economic downturn as another reason for the theft problem. 

"Thirty-five thousand Calgarians have lost their jobs, which affects a lot more people than that, so that's a significant number of people in a city the size of Calgary out of work." 


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