Teens accused of string of armed robberies appear in court

RCMP appear to have cracked a ring of teenaged armed robbers accused of waging a four-month long crime spree in Red Deer and Blackfalds. The male youths, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, faced armed robbery and weapons-related charges, including using an imitation firearm in a robbery and wearing a face mask while committing a crime.

RCMP appear to have cracked a ring of teenaged armed robbers accused of waging a four-month long crime spree in Red Deer and Blackfalds.

The male youths, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, faced armed robbery and weapons-related charges, including using an imitation firearm in a robbery and wearing a face mask while committing a crime.

Red Deer RCMP arrested the four on Thursday in connection with armed robberies dating back to Nov. 17, 2014, in Blackfalds, when three businesses were hit within minutes of each other.

The teens from Blackfalds and Red Deer also face charges in relation to the Feb. 13 armed robbery at a Blackfalds Esso station and robberies at FasGas, Corral Foods and Express 24 in Red Deer between Feb. 21 and Feb. 27.

Each of the accused appeared one-by-one in the prisoner’s dock in Red Deer provincial youth court on Friday morning and afternoon. They are 16 and 17 years old.

All were released from custody after agreeing to post $250 bail, although no cash deposit is required. Their fathers also had to agree to $1,100 no-cash sureties in each case.

Several of the parents who appeared before Judge Gordon Yake appeared to be in shock to be finding themselves standing in a courtroom.

One rattled father stumbled over his son’s birth date when asked by the judge to confirm it, and had to be corrected on the year by his sullen youngster standing in the prisoner’s dock.

Two of the youths face nine charges each, and the others face three and two charges respectively.

All will return to court on April 9.

The Priority Crimes Task Force arrested the four “building on the arrest of one male youth earlier this week by Blackfalds RCMP,” said Red Deer RCMP Const. Lee Knelsen in a Friday news release.

“These criminal activities crossed police jurisdictions, and our shared intelligence allowed the task force to piece together all the elements needed to make these arrests,” says Knelsen.

“The task force continues to investigate and further charges may be laid in relation to other armed robberies.”

Blackfalds RCMP announced on Wednesday they had laid 28 charges against a youth in connection with five armed robberies in Blackfalds and three in Red Deer. He appeared in Red Deer youth court on Thursday and is due back on April 2.

The regional Priority Crimes Task Force is made up of police officers from Red Deer RCMP general investigative section (GIS), Sylvan Lake, Innisfail and Blackfalds RCMP detachments and is supported by Lacombe Police Service.

Anyone with information that will assist RCMP in investigating these or other armed robberies in the region is asked to call Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or report it online at www.tipsubmit.com.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… 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
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Red life-ring with splash
Started from the bottom: How a family business started and grew in central Alberta

By Carina Moran We started our business in the basement of our… Continue reading

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71), Travis Boyd (72) and Jimmy Vesey (24) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

Canucks 4 Oilers 1 EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the… Continue reading

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)
Canada’s vaccine rollout operation won’t miss a beat with new military leader: expert

DARTMOUTH — The sudden departure of the senior military officer in charge… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec premier argues province has power to amend constitution in letter to Trudeau

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier François Legault has written a letter to Prime… Continue reading

A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a banned protest in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Paris, Saturday, May, 15, 2021. Marches in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were being held Saturday in a dozen French cities, but the focus was on Paris where riot police countered organizers who said they would defy a ban on the protest, ordered on the grounds that it risked turning violent. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Police fire tear gas on banned Palestinian march in Paris

PARIS (AP) — French riot police fired tear gas and used water… Continue reading

Photo by The Associated Press
NYC Pride parade bans police; Gay officers ‘disheartened’

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers of New York City’s Pride events said… Continue reading

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

WAYNE, Alta. — Built during the First World War, it survived the… Continue reading

A letter from a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 is shown in an undated handout photo. A team of researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to solve the mystery of whether a letter in a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 was indeed from a young victim of Titanic shipwreck or simply a hoax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, N. Beaudry, UQAR *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Real or hoax? Quebec scholars probe mystery letter allegedly from Titanic passenger

MONTREAL — Researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to… Continue reading

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication between the federal Transport Department and the Canadian Transportation Agency regarding passenger refunds throws into question the independence of the CTA, an arm’s-length body. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emails reveal close communication between government, transport regulator on refunds

OTTAWA — Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication… Continue reading

Most Read