By Cole Parkinson
With rural crime still being a hot-button issue across Alberta, the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment brought some good news to Vauxhall town council.
On September 10 this year, they received a call about some stolen property on a farm.
“We had a bit of a success story in September. We had a break and enter that occurred around the tenth of September and there were some different items stolen. There were computers stolen from a farm operation, an air-conditioning unit, etcetera. I believe a day or two later we got a call from the owner of the farming operation saying his stuff had turned up on Kijiji,” said Sgt. Gord Yetman.
After a quick consultation with a few different divisions, the RCMP were able to move forward with their investigation.
“We went and had a look, consulted with our Crime Reduction Unit out in Airdrie, consulted with some people in our legal department as well regarding getting a search warrant based on the information we had. We were actually able to successfully apply for and get a search warrant for a property in the city of Lethbridge,” continued Yetman.
The investigation also provided the local detachment to team up with some neighbouring municipality police forces.
With the team up, it led to an incredibly successful investigation that brought a recovery of many different stolen items.
“In a very short amount of time, there was a fairly complex investigation that was put together using some covert investigative techniques, both online and in-person in the community. Based on these various techniques, we were able to get into that property, execute a search warrant involving Taber members, Lethbridge Police, they had their tactical team out, the Crime Reduction Unit and forensic identification experts,” added Yetman. “We were able to recover all of the stolen property that was stolen on the tenth and the gentleman who lost the property on the tenth, we actually also recovered a quad that had been stolen from him, I believe the previous month. This particular farm had been hit on multiple occasions and we were able to not only get his property back from the tenth but also the quad as well and some other stolen property that we are still in the process of finding out who the owners were. There were firearms and drugs located as well.”
On top of the recovery of the local stolen items, they also found a variety of different property that was stolen, though the RCMP is still working out who the owners are.
“I think we even recovered computer equipment that wasn’t his because when we brought it back he said ‘no, that isn’t mine’ so if it’s not yours, whose is it? But there was quite a bit of stolen property in that residence,” explained Yetman.
The RCMP is also keeping close tabs on the offenders moving forward.
“We’ve since got one of the guys, he has moved to Medicine Hat and is on conditions. We’re keeping on top of him, making sure he is abiding by his curfew and that stuff,” said Yetman.
Overall, Yetman is happy with the progress that was made in the short amount of time and the collaboration between all to retrieve the stolen property.
“It’s a good example of a small detachment working with crime reduction unit and neighbouring police forces to bring things to a successful resolution. We were quite happy with that.”