A police chase that started north of Calgary ended in the city, where police recovered two trucks and several pieces of equipment stolen from various locations in Alberta and B.C. worth more than $130,000.
RCMP said the pursuit began Monday at 12:30 p.m. in the town of Didsbury, located about 60 kilometres north of Calgary, where a black 2003 Ford F-350 was stolen from the parking lot of the provincial courthouse.
The stolen Ford F-350 was tracked as it headed south, where it was found abandoned outside a hardware store in Crossfield, about 30 kilometres away.
Police said investigators determined a white 2017 GMC Sierra truck, stolen from Cranbrook, B.C. on March 7, picked up the suspect responsible for the theft of the Ford pickup and left the area.
RCMP from the Airdrie, the Southern Alberta RCMP Crime Reduction Unit and police service dog unit, along with the Calgary Police Service helicopter, found the white GMC and police said a surveillance operation ensued.
Police said the truck was spotted speeding through Airdrie during periods of high pedestrian and vehicle traffic times.
The pickup then continued south to Calgary, where city police joined in tracking the stolen vehicle, which RCMP said continued to drive dangerously through residential neighbourhoods, as well as going down public walking paths.
The suspects eventually ditched the white GMC south of the Calgary International Airport and fled on foot, RCMP said.
Police dogs and patrol members eventually tracked down and arrested the driver.
About $35,000 worth of stolen property was located within the Ford F-350 and GMC Sierra trucks, and the vehicles were linked to property crimes in Alberta and British Columbia.
The recovered stolen property includes:
• Honda 5000 generator taken from a work site in Calgary
• Geographical imagining equipment taken from a work site in Calgary
• Electrical wire from Sparwood, B.C.
• Pedal bikes from Didsbury
• Electrical wire from Tsuu T’ina Nation
• Inventory scanners from Calgary
• 2017 GMC Sierra truck from Cranbrook, B.C.
• 2003 Ford F350 truck stolen from Didsbury
• Credit cards and personal identification
In total, RCMP said the approximate value of the stolen property recovered, including the vehicles, was $130,000.
Investigators are in the process of identifying the owners of additional recovered property and returning identified items to the rightful owners, police said in their Tuesday news release.
“This operation was a collaborative effort by the RCMP Detachments in Didsbury and Airdrie, the Southern Alberta RCMP Crime Reduction Unit, and Calgary Police Service, to apprehend a property offender who has been targeting communities in Alberta and British Columbia, while minimizing the risk to public safety,” Didsbury RCMP Detachment Commander Staff Sgt. Browne said in a statement.
“These are not victimless crimes and every effort should be made to ensure these habitual or prolific offenders are held accountable for their actions.”
Kyle Vaughan, 37, who RCMP described as a “prolific property offender” from Calgary, was arrested and transported back to the Didsbury RCMP detachment.
Vaughan was charged with 23 criminal code offences, including possession of stolen property and dangerous driving.
He remains in police custody and is next set to appear in Airdrie Provincial Court on March 16 at 9:30 a.m.