Coaldale, Alberta – On January 14, 2019 at around 5:30 a.m. the Coaldale RCMP received a complaint of a man passed out in the drivers seat of a white Dodge Ram 1500. This truck was parked in a farmers yard located along Highway 512 within Lethbridge County, AB. The Coaldale RCMP have received numerous complaints of a similar type truck which was stolen previously from the Picture Butte area. Complaints have also been received from the public regarding a white Dodge Ram truck attending several rural locations possibly stealing fuel.
Two Coaldale RCMP members attended the location. The first to arrive police member positioned his Ford Explorer police vehicle directly in front of the white Dodge Ram truck in a attempt to block it in. As the police member approached the drivers door of the white truck on foot the unknown male driver woke up. He then began to drive forward pushing the police vehicle backwards and out of the way. The police member was not injured. The white Dodge Ram truck then fled the area and was located abandoned a few hours later in a rural area. It was confirmed at that time the truck was stolen. The RCMP vehicle sustained damages to the front grill and fender area. It was still operational after the collision.
The public is being asked to assist with the identification of the male driver based on the attached in car police vehicle camera photos. The public assistance in notifying the Coaldale RCMP about suspicious people and vehicles in their areas is a very important step to assist with rural crime prevention and detection.
If anyone has any information in this crime or any other please contact the Coaldale Rural RCMP at (403) 329-5080/ Coaldale Municipal RCMP at (403) 345-5552 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or through the internet at www.tipsubmit.com. Crime stoppers will pay cash rewards up to $2000.00 for information that leads to an arrest, the recovery of stolen property or seizure of illegal drugs. Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display and the identity of the caller will remain anonymous.
Update: January 14, 2019
Throughout this day, thanks to overwhelming public tips from the earlier media release and information sharing from members of the Lethbridge Police Service, the identity of the suspect was learned. The white Dodge Ram 1500 truck was located abandoned this morning a short distance from the initial crime scene. A second truck, a black 1993 Chevrolet was reported stolen a short distance away from the abandoned white Dodge truck.
This afternoon at around 4:20 p.m. the stolen black 1993 Chevrolet truck was reported in the Tempest area east of Coaldale as a suspicious vehicle. Members from the Taber, Picture Butte and Coaldale RCMP Detachments along with a K-9 unit from the Lethbridge Police Service converged to the area. The driver and lone occupant, a 32 year old man from the Lethbridge area, was followed from the Tempest/Chin area to the east side of Stafford Lake. This is where he ditched the stolen truck and ran on foot across the sort of ice covered Stafford Lake to the west side. Once on the west side the suspect tried to enter a few vehicles before being lost in the residential area. A home owner alerted RCMP members out front of his residence stating his garage alarm was just activated. The man door was tried and noted barricaded from the inside.
RCMP members entered the garage using the garage door opener and searched the double car garage. The well hidden suspect was found trying to conceal himself above the garage door on a storage platform used to store light weight bulky items. The suspect was arrested without incident ending a long crime spree.
Charges are still pending so the name of the suspect will not be released at this time. The suspect will be facing nine criminal charges including break and enter, possession of stolen property, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, resist arrest and a number of provincial traffic offences including driving while suspended.
This is an obvious example of the valued assistance of the general public, local media and other police agencies coming together to identify, locate and safely effect an arrest of a suspect responsible for a number of rural crimes.
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