Red Deer RCMP say the arrest of a 16-year-old girl in a stolen vehicle in possession of a loaded sawed-off shotgun is alarming.
On March 27th, shortly after 1:30 a.m., Red Deer RCMP arrested a female youth after a stolen SUV fled from police; police did not pursue due to public safety concerns but located the girl soon afterward.
At the time of her arrest, the 16-year-old girl was in possession of a loaded sawed-off shotgun. The SUV was reported stolen out of Red Deer on March 26th.
The 16-year-old girl, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been charged with possession of a dangerous weapon, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm knowing such possession is unauthorized, occupying a motor vehicle knowing there was a firearm in it, possession of a loaded prohibited firearm, resisting a peace officer, possession of stolen property over $5,000 and mischief under $5,000.
“There are concerns when you get somebody who is 16 in a vehicle that flees from the police and then is armed with a loaded sawed-off shotgun, you better believe that is alarming,” said Staff Sgt. Jeff McBeth, of the Red Deer RCMP.
“You have someone who is very young, who I would like to say is uneducated with firearms, who is fleeing a scene with a gun that is loaded. You have officers responding to a scene that are already aware that the person does not want to be apprehended by the police, hence why they are fleeing. The situation itself becomes elevated rather quickly.
“When you get somebody with the age or who is as youthful as the person that we have arrested with such outrageous crimes, if you will, it’s unusual, and I’m happy to say it’s unusual.”
McBeth said Red Deer continues to be a safe community.
“I don’t know if it’s fair to say that (crime) is happening more. You might be hearing more about it because we are doing a good job at getting that information out to the public,” he said. “I also believe this is a very safe community and a very safe City. I grew up here all my life before I left for policing and I was happy to come back here to police.
“I’m very confident that our City is safe, but we have some crimes like this that the public might deem outrageous or shocking, but there is a successful conclusion that the person or people end up being in custody.”
He added the police in Red Deer do a fantastic job in fighting crime.
“At the end of the day, make no bones about it, our priority is to keep Red Deer as safe as we possibly can and do anything within our means, lawfully, to keep the community as safe as we can,” said McBeth. “Crime will always be there, there’s no doubt about it. It’s just a matter of how we as your police respond to that and what we do to keep Red Deer as safe as possible.”