The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities is encouraging folks to get involved in their local Rural Crime Watch groups.

SARM President Ray Orb told Discover Weyburn that this is a time of year when the rural crime is high, as farmers are busy in the field and away from their yards.

"There are some people out there that are looking to commit a crime, not necessarily to get caught, but that's where we're hoping the Rural Crime Watch can come in to help them, kind of like another set of eyes and ears for the RCMP where people could be on the watch for certain types of vehicles that are coping around in the rural areas, looking out for farm vehicles, farm equipment, that kind of thing." 

Orb said he thinks the RCMP are on high alert especially now, after the tragedy at James Smith Cree Nation.

"That was a terribly unfortunate weekend, that a lot of RCMP were out on the job that weekend, and we're trying to help them to curb the rural crime," he noted. 

This year, Orb pointed out, there seems to be a real target for half-ton trucks.

"Some of those could be carrying fuel tanks, keeping in mind, the price of diesel fuel and gasoline, it's really high," he commented. "So those are kind of the things that are being targeted this year, and the RCMP have told us, and have sent notices out to really cares that, you know, please don't leave your keys in the vehicle, because they're easily taken."

"But I know, as the farmer, it's hard sometimes not to have the keys in the vehicle. You might only be going away, for example, for a few minutes, just maybe jumping on your combine, or talking to one of your farm workers, but unfortunately, that's what's happened, and that's made the RCMP be out a lot more this fall of apprehending vehicles that have been stolen."

He said anyone who does not have a local rural crime watch group set up in their community, can contact your local RCMP detachment and they're very helpful getting one started.

"We have about 40 that are pretty active right now around the province and we've also helped with other organizations create a Saskatchewan-wide Rural Crime Watch Association," said Orb. "So now we have a provincial group to help us, and there are best practices and things like that that we can look at that are really working well in some areas." 

Find SARM online HERE, and on Facebook HERE.