Police pursuit ends with charges
During the afternoon of March 4, RCMP attempted to stop a vehicle being operated in Onion Lake First Nation by an individual known to Elk Point and Onion Lake RCMP.
“The suspect was known to be subject to 21 outstanding warrants for various serious weapons offences and failing to comply orders,” says an Elk Point RCMP press release. An attempt to stop the suspect was made, but the suspect drove through a roadblock and ran over a spike belt, causing one of the vehicle’s tires to deflate.
The suspect lead police on a one-hour pursuit starting from Onion Lake, and ending in Frog Lake First Nations. The suspect vehicle’s speed varied from 60 km/hour to 130 km/hour during the pursuit with RCMP and passed through Vermilion River and the M.D. of Bonnyville.
The suspect got out of the vehicle in Frog Lake and attempted to flee on foot.
“A brief foot pursuit ended with the suspect being arrested without further incident,” says the release. A female passenger was also arrested and charged with failing to comply and possession of a controlled substance.
The 27-year-old driver was charged with dangerous driving, flight from police, possession of proceeds of crime, driving while disqualified, and three counts of possession of ammunition while prohibited. He is also facing several charges stemming from outstanding warrants in the judicial jurisdictions of St. Paul and Lloydminster.
The suspect is considered “a high risk to public safety” and police pursuits are taken very seriously, says the release. “A supervisor was in charge of coordinating and assessing risks throughout the pursuit.”
St. Paul RCMP continue to investigate a theft of a Polaris side-by-side off-highway vehicle that was taken from a shed in the St. Vincent area on March 6.
Suspects broke into the locked shed and drove away from the property without being noticed, says a release from St. Paul RCMP.
“With the spring and summer seasons approaching, off-highway vehicles are becoming more prevalent in the area. These types of machines prove to be easy and tempting targets for suspects involved in thefts,” says the release.
RCMP are asking owners of off-highway vehicles to ensure their property is locked, secured and accounted for at all times. It is also recommended that keys be kept away from the machines when parked.
Owners should also document vehicle identification numbers, licence plates and serial numbers for the machines in case they are stolen. Last year, St. Paul RCMP received at least 10 complaints of stolen off-highway vehicles.
Anyone with information about the March 6 incident is asked to contact local RCMP or Crime Stoppers.
On March 1, Vermilion RCMP responded to a complaint of a suspicious vehicle on an oilfield work site near Clandonald. Two males were caught on site in the act of stealing copper wire and batteries and arrested.
The subsequent investigation lead to the execution of a search warrant in Dewberry, where officers recovered a large amount of oilfield-related equipment including ATVs, trailers, snowmobiles, aviation equipment, tools, industrial electronics and laptops. It is estimated the value of the recovered property will exceed $250,000, according to an RCMP press release.
Investigators also found evidence of copper wire being stripped and cut to be sold for scrap. Demands for copper in manufacturing have increased and the consequent increase in its value has meant copper wire thefts have become commonplace, according to the RCMP report.
Two Dewberry men have been charged with numerous property related offences and will appear in court March 19.
“As oil and gas exploration and drilling has increased in north-east Alberta, the number of thefts from oilfield work sites in the Vermilion, Elk Point and Kitscoty area has increased exponentially,” the news release states. “The RCMP have worked closely with the oil and gas industry to ensure their assets are safeguarded. These arrests demonstrate the value of that cooperation.”
The public is reminded to report suspicious activity in their neighbourhood by contacting their local RCMP Detachment or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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