155 charges laid following stolen vehicle investigation
The Calgary Police Service and Airdrie RCMP have charged six people with 155 charges in relation to a stolen vehicle and armed carjacking investigation.
On Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, at approximately 12:40 p.m., police responded to a single vehicle collision in the 100 block of Harvest Oak Rise N.E., involving a stolen Audi S4. Shortly after the collision, the driver of the Audi S4 was picked up by a man driving a stolen Mercedes and they fled the area. The Mercedes was believed to have been stolen the previous day, on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, during an armed car jacking in Airdrie.
Multiple resources were assigned to locate and safely arrest the offenders, which included the use of covert resources and members of the Auto Theft Team, Canine Unit, Tactical Unit, Prolific Offender Engagement Team, HAWCS and RCMP.
Just after midnight on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, together with the RCMP, police arrested five individuals from outside a residence located near Macleod Trail and Township Road 220, in De Winton, Alta. During the arrests, investigators seized a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.
A sixth suspect was taken into custody later on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.
Police have confirmed this group of offenders are linked to 18 separate stolen vehicles taken from the Calgary area. A majority of them were stolen when the vehicle was left running and unattended or through garage break and enters. So far, investigators have recovered 14 of the stolen vehicles, worth $250,000.
Justin Michael WARD, 28, Kage RAGAISIS, 20, Kelton Lee TRAVIS, 19, Evelyn Sadie CLARE, 18, Casey Alan COUSINS, 26, Jesse STRONGEAGLE, 24, are all facing charges relating to stolen property, weapons, driving offences, failing to comply with release conditions and failing to attend court.
RAGAISIS is also facing 5 charges in relation to the Airdrie carjacking, some of which include robbery with a firearm and pointing a firearm.
“This case highlights the significant amount of resources and partnerships that go in to stolen vehicle investigations,” says Staff Sergeant Graeme Smiley of the CPS District Support Unit. “Criminals operate stolen vehicles with little to no regard for the safety of other citizens and are constantly crossing jurisdictional boundaries. We are thankful for our partners at the RCMP for their assistance with this investigation.”
Inspector Kimberley Pasloske, Detachment Commander of the Airdrie RCMP, states, “This was a complex investigation with a very successful resolution. It is great having such a strong working relationship with Calgary Police Service. Our stripes are different colours but we have the same goal and that is to keep the public safe."
With colder temperatures now here, police would like to remind citizens to protect themselves from becoming a victim of auto theft. Auto thefts are crimes of opportunity and in many cases, can easily be prevented. Citizens are reminded to:
- Never leave a running vehicle unattended.
- Ensure vehicles parked inside garages are locked and that vehicle keys are kept in a secure place inside the residence.
- Use a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.
- Report suspicious activity to police immediately by calling 403-266-1234 or 9-1-1 for crimes in progress.