The Stettler RCMP and officers from other detachments ended a three-person crime spree on April 20.
Around 5 a.m. Stettler RCMP officers received a complaint of a break-and-enter at Heartland Marine where a boat had been stolen.
A short time later, officers patrolling in Stettler County located the suspect’s vehicle abandoned.
At 6:40 a.m., while still patrolling the area, officers received a complaint of another break-and-enter, this time near Red Willow.
“A suspicious truck matching the description of the suspect vehicle” was spotted by officers driving in an alleyway in Donalda, notes an RCMP release announcing the arrests.
Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, however, the suspect vehicle fled at high speed.
Continuing the search, officers called in members of the RCMP Police Dog Services and the Air Services unit to assist.
Later, at 8:45 a.m., the suspect vehicle was located at a rural residence near Highway 856 and Township 430. On approach, officers saw one of the truck occupants “running with a firearm” just before all three suspects fled the scene, again.
Officers were able to quickly locate the truck, which was fleeing towards Forestburg. Upon entering the village, the vehicle struck a power pole in the north end, becoming immobilized.
Two suspects were located at the vehicle, and taken into custody by RCMP. One firearm, a .22 long rifle was also seized.
A third suspect had fled on foot into a farmer’s field north of Forestburg; containment was set and Police Dog Services was deployed ultimately ending in the third suspect’s arrest.
Shawn Hartnell, 39, of Red Deer, Damien German, 35, of Stettler, and Joshua Briault, 24, also of Stettler, have all been charged with:
-Unauthorized possession of a firearm
-Flight from police
-Possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle
-Three counts of mischief under $5,000
-Break and enter
-Two charges of failing to comply with release conditions, and
-Possession of a weapon contrary to prohibition
All three individuals were remanded into custody until court in Stettler on April 27.
“With the assistance of Bashaw, Killam, Coronation and Wetaskiwin General Duty officers, Police Dog Services and Ponoka Freeway officers, these criminals were taken off the streets and their crime spree has ended,” said Staff Sgt. Jon England, the Stettler RCMP detachment commander.
The RCMP encourages residents in the area to report crimes. For a crime in progress, call 911.
For non-urgent matters, call the Stettler detachment at 403-742-3381, or your nearest detachment.
Crime can also be reported online via the RCMP app, available on Apple and Android devices.
For those wishing to remain anonymous, contact Alberta Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS), online at p3tips.com, or via the P3 Tips app available on mobile devices.