Canmore, Alberta – On October 4, 2019 at approximately 6:00 p.m. Canmore RCMP responded to a call of a suspicious U-Haul truck parked in the industrial area on Railway Avenue in Canmore. RCMP members were aware that a U-Haul truck had been linked to a number of bicycle thefts in the area and believed this was the suspect vehicle. An investigation was initiated and the vehicle was located and followed to the Calgary City limits, where a traffic stop was conducted and the driver was taken into custody with assistance from Calgary Police Service. 12 bicycles were located in the back of the U-haul, all believed to have been stolen from the Canmore area. Items also seized from the truck included power tools, two miniature motorcycles, break-in instruments (bolt-cutters, flashlights, balaclavas, torches), multiple gift cards and vehicle documents. The truck itself was determined to be stolen after inquiries were made with the rental company.
Further investigation lead to Canmore RCMP members executing a search warrant at a storage unit in Calgary where approximately 20 more bicycles were recovered, all believed to have been stolen from the Canmore area. Total value of recovered property is estimated at over $100,000.
24 year old John Gil Cortez has been charged with the following offences:
• Possess property obtained by crime over $5000-
• Theft over $5000- x 2
• Fraudulent possession of a credit card
• Possess Counterfeit money
• Theft Under $5000- x 2
• Possess stolen motor vehicle
• Breach of Recognizance
• Operate Uninsured Motor Vehicle
Mr. Cortez is scheduled to appear in Canmore Provincial Court on October 16, 2019.
Canmore RCMP are working to return the recovered bicycles to their owners. This a good time to remind everyone to record serial numbers and distinguishing marks on their property, and to have photographs available in the event their property is stolen and later recovered.
This investigation began as a result of a phone call made to police about a suspicious vehicle. Canmore RCMP again want to remind everyone to be vigilant in their neighbourhoods and to call 911 or (403)678-5516 immediately when suspicious activity is observed. If you wish to remain anonymous you may contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or online at Crimestoppers.ca
Please help spread the word by "sharing" our reports on your social media accounts.