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High-risk arrest leads Didsbury RCMP to hold and secure schools

Items seized during an arrest in Didsbury, Alta., on Oct. 24, 2023. handout / Alberta RCMP

A high-risk arrest in a southern Alberta town led police to initiate a brief hold and secure at all schools in the town just before school let out.

On Thursday, members of the RCMP’s southern Alberta district crime reduction unit located a stolen vehicle in Didsbury, Alta. Police believed the vehicle was occupied by a known previous offender and was seen circling downtown Didsbury.

The crime reduction unit received assistance from the RCMP’s emergency response team, local RCMP, RCMP air and police dog services to assist with the arrest.

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At around 3 p.m., Didsbury RCMP initiated a hold and secure at all schools in the town as a precaution to make sure no students would be in the area at the time of the arest.

At 3:20 p.m., police stopped the vehicle and took one suspect into custody.

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RCMP said inside the vehicle the suspect had a modified prohibited firearm and ammunition, bear spray, a knife and an airsoft handgun.

Jamie McConnell, 21, of Edmonton, was charged with firearms-, weapons-, motor vehicle- and stolen property-related charges.

Police said McConnell was bound by a firearms prohibition order at the time of his arrest.

McConnell was held for a judicial interim release hearing and remanded into custody. He is due to appear in a Didsbury court on Oct. 30.

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