UPDATED: Ponoka RCMP arrest three suspects from armed robbery

Chase ensues after crime spree in Ponoka and Rimbey areas

Ponoka RCMP arrested three suspects allegedly involved in an armed robbery along with several other crimes.

At about 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 police were called to a liquor store in town where it was determined that a man entered the store and stole three bottles of wine.

Shortly after at 6:45 p.m. police then responded to a complaint of an attempted theft of a vehicle at a home northwest of Ponoka. The descriptions of the suspect were similar to that of the person who stole the liquor, say police. RCMP attempted to stop the vehicle but the vehicle fled. Due to public safety concerns no pursuit was initiated.

Just 45 minutes later police responded to a panic alarm at the Crestomere store west of Ponoka. Police say suspects entered the store attempting to steal liquor. Then when leaving, a firearm was pointed at an employee.

The incidents continued.

At 8 p.m. Rimbey RCMP responded to an attempted theft of vehicle within the town limits. Rimbey RCMP attempted to stop the suspect vehicle allegedly involved in the previous incidents.

“A pursuit ensued eastbound on Highway 53 until the suspect vehicle went off-road right into the ditch and got stuck. Two of three suspects were arrested without incident and one suspect fled on foot,” states the Ponoka RCMP release.

A police dog was dispatched to the scene but police say they were unable to locate the third suspect. The suspect vehicle was determined to be stolen. During this time period a vehicle was stolen from a neighbouring property by the third suspect.

“Just before midnight, Ponoka RCMP were dispatched to a single vehicle collision on Highway 2A north of Ponoka,” say police.

With help from Westaskiwin RCMP, officers arrived on scene at the same time a female victim was being pulled from the vehicle by one of the suspects.

Mounties attempted to arrest the suspect when one officer was assaulted. The remaining suspect was eventually arrested and another stolen vehicle was recovered.

Police have charged three teenagers, two who are 18-years-old and one who is 16 and cannot be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Justice Rain (18) of Maskwacis is facing 11 criminal code charges including robbery with a firearm, flight from police, and possession of stolen property. He was remanded into custody for a court appearance of Feb. 6 in Wetaskiwin.

Jerral Rabbit (18) of Maskwacis is facing eight criminal code charges including pointing a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm and flight from police. He was remanded into custody with a court appearance in Wetaskiwin scheduled for Feb. 6.

A 16-year-old boy is facing a total of 23 charges including robbery with a firearm, flight from police, assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and possession of property obtained by crime. He has been remanded into custody and is scheduled for a court appearance on Feb. 7 in Wetaskiwin.

As this case is now before the courts, no further information will be provided, say police.

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