Police in northern Alberta said a man wanted on over 30 charges, previously described as “armed and dangerous,” has been arrested after he was “apprehended by local citizens” in the northwest part of the province.
According to the RCMP, officers received a report of suspicious vehicles in Clear Hills County at 9:10 p.m. Thursday night. Mounties said they were told of an “unknown male wearing a ski mask … on a quad” who was with an unknown person in a truck.
Police said officers from several police departments were dispatched to the area. They said area residents ended up finding and restraining one of the men before handing him over to police at 11:15 p.m.
The man arrested was identified as Malcolm Testawits, the subject of a more than three-week long manhunt. Police said he was wanted on multiple charges including assaulting a police officer and robbery.
“I’m pleased to report on the excellent cooperation amongst all neighbouring detachments and the Grande Prairie CRU and PDS, in arresting this suspect,” Peace Regional RCMP’s Sgt. Onaissi said Friday. “This is a positive outcome and reflects the community members’ diligence and commitment to their community.”
RCMP said while they were grateful for the help they received from civilians in this case, they continue to urge citizens not to approach people identified as “dangerous suspects” out of safety concerns.
Police said the charges Testawits faces “are now before the courts and further information will not be provided on those incidents.”
RCMP did not provide details about the other person mentioned in the report of suspicious vehicles before Testawits’ arrest.
Alberta’s police watchdog, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, is now investigating police actions in connection with the last encounter police had with Testawits. According to police, the incident saw an officer get into an “altercation” with Testawits before firing their gun.The RCMP allege the incident ended with the officer’s vehicle being stolen.
Although Testawits is now in custody, RCMP are still asking residents with information about him or property crimes in northwest Alberta, to call the Peace Regional RCMP at 780-624-6611 or 911 or your local police department. Tips can also be anonymously submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online.