Central Alberta men charged in new year’s crime spree

A New Year’s Eve crime spree spanning several jurisdictions concluded with the arrest of two central Alberta men.

Two men face several charges over a New Year’s Eve crime spree. This vehicle was stolen from Bawlf where it eventually rolled south of Ponoka.

Two men face several charges over a New Year’s Eve crime spree. This vehicle was stolen from Bawlf where it eventually rolled south of Ponoka.

A New Year’s Eve crime spree spanning several jurisdictions concluded with the arrest of two central Alberta men.

The criminal joy ride started in rural Ponoka after two men stole a Chevy Silverado pickup truck and drove it to Daysland. The next day they went to two properties in Daysland and Bawlf and two snowmobiles were stolen. They were not kept for long however as the snowmobiles were found abandoned at another rural Bawlf location.

Police state the culprits broke into a building later that day and stole a Toyota Camry and drove it to Fort Saskatchewan. An impaired driving complaint tipped police to the car but they fled from Mounties, who did not pursue.

Later in the day Ponoka RCMP received a dangerous driving complaint involving the suspect vehicle. The vehicle rolled at the intersection of Highway 2A and Secondary Highway 604 partially blocking a CP Rail track. A sheriff was flagged down by a witness moments after but both men had already fled on foot.

The RCMP dog service was called in to assist but an eyewitness stated they saw the men catch a ride with an unsuspecting motorist.

After some investigation, police determined they were dropped off at a home in Lacombe and a joint effort with Ponoka RCMP, Lacombe Police and RCMP dog services arrested the men without incident.

Cody Friesen, 19, of Sylvan Lake and Derek Weninger, 21, of Red Deer both face charges of:

• Theft of a pickup truck from Ponoka.

• Theft of snowmobiles from Daysland and Bawlf.

• Break and enter and theft of a car from Bawlf.

• Failing to stop for police in Fort Saskatchewan.

• A railway safety act charge.