Rural Alberta shooting triggers investigation that led to seizure of over $440K in stolen property

Click to play video: 'Alberta RCMP seize $420K in stolen property'
Alberta RCMP seize $420K in stolen property
An investigation launched after a rural Alberta property owner was shot at led to RCMP uncovered nearly half-a-million dollars in stolen property. From a hot tub to travel trailers, Lisa MacGregor has more on the range of items that were recovered – Apr 16, 2024

Members of the Alberta RCMP held a news conference west of Edmonton on Tuesday to explain to reporters how an investigation launched after a rural property owner was shot at led to the execution of search warrants that uncovered nearly half-a-million dollars in stolen property.

Staff Sgt. Brandon Humbke, the acting operations officer for Central Alberta District RCMP, said the investigation stemmed from an incident that unfolded on April 10.

“There was an attempted theft at a rural property in the Thorsby area and a resident of the area tried to intervene with that,” he explained. “During that, the suspect actually fired rounds at that property owner.

“As a result of the investigation, the crime reduction unit identified a suspect and requested the assistance of the Edmonton Police Service in conducting surveillance.”

Humbke said the RCMP then obtained two search warrants for a property in the Breton area and a property in Parkland County.

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“Both warrants were planned to be executed on the morning of April 12,” he said. “Just prior to the start of the Breton search warrant, a break and enter was reported near Rimbey, … (and) the suspects were observed to return to the Breton residence.”

At that point, the RCMP emergency response team executed a search warrant at the Breton-area property, and Humbke said “one of the suspects rammed police vehicles in an attempt to escape.”

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Two drivers were arrested and Humbke said police officers seized a handgun, 682 grams of suspected methamphetamine and 70 grams of cocaine.

“The search of the Breton property resulted in numerous stolen items with an approximate value of $120,000,” he said, adding that a search warrant was also executed at a property in Parkland County that resulted in about $320,000 worth of stolen property being found.

“These are high-ticket items,” Humbke said, noting that trailers, a boat, snowmobiles and even a hot tub were among the stolen items discovered by officers. “Seeing all of it together in one location, it is a surprise for sure.”

“(It’s) not every day we see a brand-new hot tub stolen.”

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Vehicle thefts, robberies drive rise in Canadian crimes: StatCan

Three people have been charged in connection with the investigation.

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Thirty-eight-year-old Justin Handbury, of Alder Flats, faces 64 charges, including possession of a restricted or prohibited firearm, possession of stolen property over $5,000 and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

Thirty-seven-year-old Marlace Monds, of Alder Flats, is facing 21 charges related to the possession of stolen property.

Forty-one-year-old Jesse Jeffcott, of Alder Flats, faces four charges, including break and enter and theft of property.

The RCMP said the investigation into shots being fired at a property owner on April 10 is ongoing and that charges have not been laid at this point in connection with that incident.

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