Police conclude operation focusing on vehicle thefts
The Calgary Police Service has concluded a two-week operation that focused on offenders stealing vehicles that were left running throughout the city in the early morning hours.
In December 2016, the Service conducted Operation Cold Start to educate Calgarians about the dangers of leaving running vehicles unattended. In a week-long period between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., 885 vehicles were found unlocked and running with the keys inside.
In response to this, the Service launched Operation Incessant, which involved multiple overt and covert resources across the Service. For a two-week period in January and February, CPS officers from patrol, the District Operations Teams and the Support Section were staged in areas of the city with high numbers of stolen vehicles. When a vehicle was reported stolen, officers were able to flood the area immediately and locate the stolen vehicle.
In total, seven people were charged with 24 criminal charges, nine charges under the Traffic Safety Act and 18 outstanding warrants were executed. Eleven stolen vehicles with a total value of $147,000 were also recovered. Eight more criminal charges and four charges under the Traffic Safety Act are pending against an eighth individual, whose name will be release once charges are formally laid.
In one case, an offender stole a vehicle by using the keys he had previously stolen that same vehicle with on another occasion. When this offender was arrested, he was found in possession of the keys for three separate vehicles.
Charges in relation to this operation include theft of a vehicle, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of stolen property under $5,000, possession of a stolen credit card, possession of other identity documents, obstruction of a peace officer, identity fraud, driving while disqualified, possession of a controlled substance and various breach of recognizance charges.
- A 14-year-old male of Calgary
- A 15-year-old male of Calgary
- Joshua Dale VAUGHN, 19, of Calgary
- Ian Edward MORRIS, 27, of Calgary
- Sage Bryanna BARTMAN, 21, of Calgary
- Samantha Lyn O’Brien, 26, of Calgary
- Blake Dustin JEDYNAK, 21, of Calgary
Warrants have been issued for MORRIS and BARTMAN. Photos of the two are available on The City of Calgary Newsroom.
It takes less than a minute for an offender to see, enter and drive away with a vehicle that is left running. In many cases, the offender is also driving away with bank cards, credit cards, identification, keys and garage door openers that they can use to further victimize the vehicle owner. In addition, stolen vehicles pose a significant risk to public and officer safety.
Citizens are reminded to:
- Never leave a running vehicle unattended.
- Install a remote starter if possible, however, always make sure the vehicle is locked.
- Use a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.
- Never leave spare keys or garage door openers in or around your vehicle. If a garage door opener goes missing at any time, the garage door should be immediately recoded.
- If your keys are stolen, immediately change the locks to anything that can be unlocked by those keys, including residences and vehicles.
- Always lock the man door leading from a garage into a residence.