Saskatchewan

Dealerships warn Regina RV owners after spike in battery thefts

A number of RV dealerships in Regina say they have been busy replacing batteries after a rash of thefts in the city.

Dealership completes 3 repairs in 1 day after batteries stolen from travel trailers

Regina RV dealerships said they've had to do repairs and battery replacements after a rash of thefts in the city. (Alex Soloducha/CBC)

A number of recreational vehicle dealerships in Regina say they have been busy replacing batteries after an apparent rash of thefts in the city.

Hans Boers, who is the general manager at Traveland RV in Regina, said the dealership saw three customers on Friday alone, all from the same area of the city, who had the batteries from their travel trailers stolen overnight.

Traveland employees told CBC the thefts were in Eastview and Uplands, and they had a total of eight related calls Friday after a spree on Thursday night. 

Boers said RV owners should take precautions to keep the same thing from happening to them.

"Ideally when you have [RVs] sitting on the street for any length of time, you want to take your batteries off and perhaps even take your propane tanks off because they could go missing just as quickly," Boers said.

"We're all in a day and age where we want to get in and go as quick as we can, so that normally doesn't happen, but that would be the safe thing to do."

The scope of the crime

A spokesperson with Regina police said the service is not aware of this rash of crimes, but Traveland RV is not the only dealership witnessing the trend.

Brent Mass, co-owner of Affordable Travel Sales, said lately, they've had at least two customer appointments per week due to stolen batteries — something he said has been happening since last summer.

A representative from Village RV said that dealership has seen a spike in battery replacements due to theft this week in particular.

Boers said in each case he has seen, the thieves cut the cables and took the batteries, rather than disconnecting them properly.

Regina has experienced a recent spike in the theft of RV batteries. Thieves have sometimes snipped the wiring to the battery rather than unhooking it. (Alex Soloducha/CBC)

"When they cut the wires, and depending on where they cut them, they may have to be rewired, or at the very least new ends put on them so that they can be hooked up again," he said.

"When they do it that quickly, [we] tend to see they'll cut it randomly and a lot of times the connection will be too short to go back to the battery, so it has to be rewired."

The cost for repairs varies from unit to unit, Boers said, but usually includes about an hour of labour and a new battery. He said it generally runs about $200 or $250.

Thieves don't seem to be targeting a specific type of RV, according to Boers, but all the cases he has seen involved travel trailers.

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