Lethbridge police address string of random, violent crimes

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Lethbridge police address random, violent crimes over the past week
WATCH: Interim Chief of Lethbridge Police Service Scott Woods and Mayor Chris Spearman addressed a string of random, violent crimes over the last seven days in Lethbridge. Danica Ferris reports – Oct 23, 2019

An alleged gun sighting at the downtown Lethbridge Public Library on Tuesday night was the latest item on a growing list of alarming incidents Lethbridge Police Service have dealt with as of late.

Interim Chief Scott Woods addressed the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss the string of recent crimes.

Woods began by listing incidents in the past week: “A male and a female are currently charged in connection with incidents where shots were fired at two locations in west Lethbridge the other morning, and we continue to investigate a kidnapping at knife-point earlier this week, a disturbance and attempted car-jacking Tuesday night, and a robbery this morning.”

According to Woods, an police investigation Tuesday evening determined there was no firearm at the library.

He also addressed a pair of near-child abductions in west Lethbridge.

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“With respect to the attempted child abduction reports, the investigations are currently ongoing,” said Woods.

“As you can imagine, these are fairly complex investigations that require a lot of resources, time.”

The interim chief said LPS is trying to determine if any of the incidents could be related.

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In an incident Monday, a man was carjacked in Lethbridge, threatened with a machete, then abandoned on the highway after being forced to take the carjacker to the Blood Reserve.

The following evening, a Lethbridge man was threatened at knife-point in an attempted car-jacking.

“Specific to the behaviours that we’re seeing, we are developing a strategy — we actually had some good meetings on it yesterday, in fact — to address the behaviours that we’re seeing within the community,” he said.

As for details, Woods wasn’t able to provide many on this new, proactive strategy.

“Re-deploying some resources, and aggressively attacking these behaviours,” he said, “We’re hoping to have something implemented here in the near future.”

When asked about causes of the recent increase, Woods said he believes there is a connection to drug use.

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“Well we’re definitely seeing an increase with the use of methamphetamine within our community,” he said.

“With that we are starting to see more erratic and aggressive behaviour that we believe is related to use of that drug.”

Mayor Chris Spearman was on hand to hear Woods’ address, as well as deliver a statement.

Spearman said he would like to see an illicit drug task force formed by Lethbridge City Council.

“It is very disturbing,” said Spearman, “I think it’s a temporary phenomena, but I think we need to pay attention to it and review it all the time. I think the citizens task force will help to provide a voice to those who don’t currently have a voice.”

LPS urged residents not to take matters into their own hands, and Woods encourages citizens to call police if confronted by an erratic, aggressive individual.


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