A lengthy investigation into multiple armed robberies resulted in charges to three adults and four youths.
Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP stated Friday morning that adults and youths, a total of seven people, have been charged in the investigations.
On the evening of Jan. 24 and 25 police responded to armed robberies at Millet Liquor stores, 7-Eleven in Ponoka, and attempted armed car jackings in Wetaskiwin and again Ponoka.
“As a result of an extensive investigation it was found that the suspects would enter these businesses with faces covered, brandishing firearms to aid them in committing the robberies,” say police.
Among the items stolen were cash, liquor, cigarettes and lottery tickets.
“At the Wetaskiwin 7-Eleven a 14-year-old male youth suspect attempted to carjack a customer by pointing a firearm at a store patron,” state police. “This attempt was unsuccessful and the suspects fled the scene. The adult male victim was not injured.”
As a result, three were charged.
Lionel Louis, 22, of Maskwacis is charged with robbery with a firearm, pointing a firearm and breaching conditions. He faces a total of 25 charges.
Along with Louis, there are two boys, now 15-years-old, also facing numerous charges including robbery with a firearm or imitation firearm, pointing a firearm and breaching conditions. They face a total of 73 criminal code charges.
They have been remanded in custody. Louis is to appear in Wetaskiwin court on March 1 and the youths on Feb. 21.
While investigating the armed robberies RCMP received a tip from Edmonton police to be on the lookout for a pickup truck involved in an armed robbery in the city. That truck was located by Maskwacis RCMP abandoned, however, a man was located near the truck and arrested without incident.
Police charged Eric Mykat, 26, with possession of stolen property over $5,000 and two counts of failing to comply with conditions.
“A pursuit was initiated and travelled through multiple jurisdictions,” say police. “The vehicle travelled from Maskwacis through Wetaskiwin and Millet.”
It eventually returned to Maskwacis and came to a stop where suspects attempted to flee on foot and were arrested without incident.
Wetaskiwin GIS members supported by Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit, Ponoka RCMP and Wetaskiwin RCMP assisted in the investigation.
Candace Minde, 34, from Maskwacis is charged with breach of parole along with several other charges. They stem from thefts and robberies covering St. Albert, Edmonton, Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin. She is also charged with theft of a motor vehicle, criminal flight and dangerous driving as well as resisting or obstructing arrest.
She is currently in custody and was required to appear in court in Wetaskiwin Feb. 13.
Two girls, a 14- and 15-year-old, were charged with theft of a motor vehicle and resisting or obstructing arrest. Police say that one girl was remanded into custody and the other was released to appear in court in Wetaskiwin.
“A strong collaborative effort between several RCMP detachments, specialized units, and our partner, Edmonton Police Service, was instrumental in solving these crimes and halting the activities of these offenders,” says Inspector Keith Durance, OIC of Wetaskiwin Detachment. “Intelligence sharing and strong partnerships has helped us to link these individuals who are known to each other, committing similar crimes, and are well known to the police.”
Crime reduction is a priority for the Alberta RCMP. Targeting repeat offenders and crime trends will allow us to impact crime in the province and increase community safety. These offences have covered several jurisdictions and it is impactful to be able to solve these investigations.