Red Deer RCMP make numerous arrests in covert stolen vehicle operation

Red Deer RCMP make numerous arrests in covert stolen vehicle operation

Eight people facing 34 charges after four-day police operation last week

RCMP laid 34 charges against eight people and seized 11 stolen vehicles, drugs and a sawed-off rifle during a four-day covert operation last week.

The operation ran in Red Deer and area from Dec. 5-8 and included RCMP officers from a number of units.

Red Deer RCMP Insp. Gerald Grobmeier said weeks were spent planning the operation, which involved at various times between 10 and 16 officers, as well as crime analysts and the use of a police helicopter.

“In some ways, it’s been in the works for a year,” he said, adding it is part of the Red Deer RCMP’s crime reduction strategy known as Project Pinpoint.

“We had a lot of analytic work done behind the scenes they help us determine where to employ our resources,” said Grobmeier.

In all, 13 people were arrested and 34 outstanding warrants executed.

Officers from the Red Deer RCMP Community Response Unit, general investigative service and general duty, the RCMP Emergency Response Team, Blackfalds RCMP and Police Dog Services were involved.

During the arrests, fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine were seized along with the rifle and bear spray.

Five men and three women between the ages of 22 and 45 were arrested and are facing numerous charges.

While vehicle theft was at the heart of the operation the purpose extended far beyond tracking a few stolen vehicles down.

“Recovering of stolen vehicles isn’t really that much of an issue here,” he said, adding that most are soon recovered.

“Our ultimate goal is for crime reduction in Red Deer. These types of vehicles in particular are being used for so many different types of crimes besides being a stolen vehicle,” he said, offering armed robberies, home invasions and drug dealing as examples.

Not only that, once behind the wheel, criminals pose a danger to the public and police.

“There’s always that danger of coming up behind one of them and trying to pull them over and them either ramming a police car or taking off at a high speed.”

That is why a clandestine approach was taken, to grab suspects before they have a chance to create mayhem on the roads.

“It was very covert. It averted those type of stops that are always very dangerous,” he said.

“It’s certainly a different culture out there now. Time and time again our police officers are being rammed. It happened again just a few nights ago.

“It seems to be a technique they are deploying and they really have no regard as to what damage or injuries they cause. It’s not a Red Deer phenomenon. It’s happening everywhere now.”

Crooks have not seen the last of this kind of police effort.

“While we aren’t going to divulge our methods of locating and tracking criminals in stolen vehicles in order to arrest them without harm to the public or to our police officers, I will say that our community – and the prolific criminals within it – can expect to hear about more of these types of operations,” he said.

“Red Deer RCMP continue to aggressively apply pressure to habitual offenders through a wide range of targeted, evidence-based crime reduction strategies.”

At least two of the stolen vehicles had been taken when they were left unlocked and running, said police. A number of those arrested had numerous outstanding warrants, 15 in one case and 11 in another.

A 29-year-old man was found by police sitting in a stolen vehicle in a handicapped parking space outside a gas station. He was found with bear spray in violation of court-imposed release conditions and is now facing six criminal charges as well as a traffic charge for parking in a handicapped spot.

A 34-year-old man was charged for impaired driving after he drove over a median in front of police involved in the covert operation. In that case, the vehicle was not stolen.

RCMP also recovered other stolen property and the investigation is continuing.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Red Deer RCMPStolen Vehicles

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Red Deer RCMP make numerous arrests in covert stolen vehicle operation

Just Posted

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Red Deer jumps to 449 active COVID-19 cases on Sunday

1,516 new cases identified in Alberta

The QEII was closed Sunday morning due to a pole fire. (Photo courtesy City of Red Deer)
UPDATE: QEII near Red Deer reopens

The QEII has been reopened after being closed due to a pole… Continue reading

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Bashaw RCMP investigate fatal collision in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP are investigating after a fatal collision Saturday afternoon. Police were… Continue reading

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It's not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he'd been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

DELIA, Alta. — It’s not often police can report that a unicorn… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

San Jose's Tomas Hertl, center, celebrates with teammates Patrick Marleau, left, and Rudolfs Blacers, right, after Hertl scored a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Friday, April 16, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Patrick Marleau set to break Gordie Howe’s games record

For Patrick Marleau, the best part about Monday night when he is… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Half of U.S. adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

WASHINGTON — Half of all adults in the U.S. have received at… Continue reading

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Federal government to send health-care workers to Ontario, Trudeau says

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal departments and some Canadian… Continue reading

People cross a busy street in the shopping district of Flushing on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in the Queens borough of New York. Access to the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is growing by the day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kathy Willens
Despite COVID-19 vaccines, Americans in D.C. not feeling celebratory — or charitable

WASHINGTON — This might make Canadians jealous of their American cousins for… Continue reading

A man pays his respects at a roadside memorial in Portapique, N.S. on Thursday, April 23, 2021. RCMP say at least 22 people are dead after a man who at one point wore a police uniform and drove a mock-up cruiser, went on a murder rampage in Portapique and several other Nova Scotia communities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Memorial service in Nova Scotia marks one year since mass shooting started

TRURO, N.S. — A memorial service is planned for today in central… Continue reading

In this April 23, 2016, photo, David Goethel sorts cod and haddock while fishing off the coast of New Hampshire. To Goethel, cod represents his identity, his ticket to middle class life, and his link to one the country's most historic industries, a fisherman who has caught New England's most recognized fish for more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
‘It’s more than just a fish:’ Scientists worry cod will never come back in N.L.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The latest assessment of Atlantic cod stocks, whose… Continue reading

Most Read