Resident calls for more proactive policing after more than 20 vehicles vandalized on River Street East

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Several vehicles were damaged at Mitchell Place during a string of wilful damage to vehicles on River Street East on Tuesday morning.

At least one resident is calling for more proactive policing after a string of vehicles were broken into on River Street East sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

Several vehicles were damaged on the 700 block of River Street, including cars at two seniors housing complexes in Mitchell Place and River Breeze. Around 2 p.m. the Prince Albert Police Service advised the public of increased police presence in the east flat area, between 600 block to 1500 block, from River Street to Third Street East.

James Slowenko lives near one of the care homes and had his car broken into. He learned about the damage at around 7:30 a.m. from his grandmother who was visiting.

“I was like, ‘well, what does she mean.’ Then I go outside and I look and I go out in the driveway and the two windows in the back of the of the of the front in the back of the SUV are smashed,” Solowenko said.

“Then I look across the block in the nursing home across the street and the nursing home down the street and then … a few other cars along the block—there were quite a few—all had their windows smashed in.”

Solowenko said he was lucky he did not have any valuables in the vehicle, but he’s worried about other residents who had their vehicles damaged.

“Me personally, I didn’t have anything stolen from the vehicle,” Solowenko said. “(I) didn’t have anything really valuable in there. I’m not sure if that’s the same for other people.”

The Prince Albert Police Service responded to 25 wilful damage complaints on Tuesday morning. Slowenko confirmed what police reported from his own view.

“I could see it all the way up and down the street,” he said.

Slowenko called the police after discovering the damage. He said it was a frustrating wait getting an officer on scene. He said that it was not overall response but rather response time that disappointed him.

“I don’t want to speak badly about the police, but they didn’t really do much when we first called them,” Slowenko said. “It wasn’t until about three hours after phoning them that someone actually showed up to start looking around and asking questions.

“I think that’s a little bit ridiculous for how large of an incident that is,” Slowenko added. “It isn’t just a few isolated break-ins.”

There was a similar incident in mid-February when the Police informed the public about a recent string of wilful damage to motor vehicles reported between Feb. 9 and Feb. 12, 2024.

There were 41 reported occurrences of damage to vehicles throughout the city including the East Hill, West Hill, East Flat, West Flat and Midtown areas.

“I do remember a couple weeks ago my friend got hit, (and) a friend of my girlfriend’s, he got hit when he was at work. Then last summer too, there was that break in were like 40 vehicles got hit too,” Slowenko said. “I would like to see more action being done about it.”

Slowenko wants to see local law enforcement be more proactive about vandalism and break-ins.

“I do want to voice my concern,” he said. “It’s a little bit embarrassing for the Police Department that they weren’t able to protect the whole neighbourhood.”

Beyond the response time, Slowenko said he’s concerned about the two seniors complexes, with River Breeze and Mitchell Place both affected

River Breeze is a personal care home and Mitchell Place is senior housing owned by the Prince Albert Housing Authority.

The Daily Herald emailed the Prince Albert Police Service asking about the response time. A spokesperson wrote that the call typically would have gone to the Alternate Call Response (ACR) depending on the information given. The ACR is a waiting queue for phone and online calls for service.

“Officers when free would attend the calls and speak with the complainant and investigate each file as they could,” reads the statement. “This takes time. Other Officers attended to deal with the volume of calls to assist in a timely manner as other calls still came in for the rest of the city.”

Police said broken windows accounted for the majority of damage. If your vehicle was been damaged in this area during this time, Police want to be informed.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact police at 306-953-4222 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted anonymously online at