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Medicine Hat… More than $200,000 worth of stolen property and 63 firearms have been recovered after an ALERT investigation in southeast Alberta.
ALERT’s Southeast Alberta Property Crime Unit partnered with Taber Police Service, Taber RCMP, and Medicine Hat Police Service on the investigation, which culminated with search warrants being executed on September 10, 2020.
“ALERT was successful in disrupting a group of individuals who were impacting rural communities with thefts and property crime offences,” said ALERT CEO Supt. Dwayne Lakusta. “We will continue to work with our policing partners and Crown prosecutors to ensure these individuals are held accountable.”
Three locations in Taber were searched and five people were arrested. The group is suspected of being involved in break-and-enters and vehicle thefts in Taber, Vauxhall, Lethbridge, Stirling, Vulcan, Bow Island, Seven Persons, Coaldale, and Barnwell.
ALERT further alleges that the suspects were involved in firearms trafficking. Sixty-three firearms were seized, along with approximately 60 disassembled firearms and parts, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Taber is located approximately 100 kilometers west of Medicine Hat.
Following the search warrants, investigators spent weeks cataloguing the stolen property and attempting to reunite items with their rightful owners. The stolen property included:
Five suspects were arrested and face a total of 76 offences, including criminal charges such as trafficking stolen property, trafficking firearms, possession of proceeds of crime, and fraud:
ALERT’s Southeast Alberta Property Crime Unit launched at the beginning of April 2020, with its creation attributable to new funding provided by the Alberta Government. The joint forces initiative is aimed at tackling regional property crime.
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous. Medicine Hat residents can also submit tips anonymously through the Medicine Hat Police Service mobile app, which is free to download and available for both Apple and Android devices.
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.
Notice to media:
• A detailed breakdown of charges is available for download: PDF
• Additional photos from Wednesday’s media availability are available for download: Photo 1 | Photo 2 | Photo 3 | Photo 4