Investigations into unsafe behaviour in encampments uncovers weapons and stolen property
On two separate occasions over the past two weeks, officers uncovered dozens of weapons and thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen property at two significant entrenched encampments in the city’s southeast.
“Over the past month you have heard us talk about safe public spaces as it pertains to transit. The expectation for respectful and appropriate behaviour based on the intended use of the space extends into all public spaces – including our parks, pathways and communities,” says Superintendent Scott Boyd. “We are fortunate to work with many community and government partners who provide resources and services to help those who truly need it and we continue to be committed to connecting those who need assistance with those who can provide it.”
On Wednesday, April 19, 2023, officers discovered an encampment located off of 58 Avenue S.E. and Burbank Road S.E., where they found a John Deere Gator in the bushes under a tarp camouflaged with wood. As they searched the area the officers uncovered a living structure and copious amounts of stolen property and weapons, including:
- John Deere Gator, worth approximately $45,000
- John Deere Blower, worth approximately $85,000
- Cervelo S5 Bike
- Airsoft handgun
- Backpacker Airsoft handgun
- Stoeger Airsoft rifle with scope
The stolen John Deere’s were returned to their rightful owners. Although no arrests have been made yet, the investigation continues.
On Tuesday, April 25, 2023, while conducting routine patrols along the Bow River on the east side of the 5800 block of Deerfoot Trail S.E., officers located a beverage container hanging in the trees with holes consistent in size with rounds from a gun. The officers searched the area nearby and uncovered several encampments. The first contained a stolen John Deere and what appeared to be a wire-stripping operation for the re-sale of stolen copper wire. The shelter was equipped with a wood burning stove and had weather-proof sides, a roof and a window. One person was taken into custody and charged in relation to the stolen property.
Across from that encampment was another consisting of several structures where officers located:
· two Airsoft guns
· one replica Glock handgun
· one rifle with scope
· seven knives
· five throwing axes that were laying near a practice target
One person was located on site. Charges have not yet been laid.
Adjacent to those structures, officers located two stolen dirt bike motorcycles. They were returned to their rightful owner.
Two people were taken into custody and charged in relation to the stolen motorcycles.
We are committed to creating safe public spaces by taking action to reduce crime and social disorder through focused collaborative enforcement and compassionate supports. The encampments were investigated for illegal activity and we are currently working with our partners at the Joint Encampment Team to connect those residing in them with services and issue notices of removal, allowing for alternative living arrangements to be established prior to removal of debris by city crews.