DIDSBURY – The theft of a truck from Didsbury on Monday led to the arrest of a prolific offender and recovery of $130,000 worth of stolen property allegedly linked to property crimes in Alberta and British Columbia, according to police.
On March 13 at 12:30 p.m., RCMP say Didsbury RCMP were notified that a black 2003 Ford F-350 had been stolen from the parking lot of the provincial court building in Didsbury.
In a statement issued on the evening of Tuesday, March 14, RCMP say the stolen Ford F-350 was tracked to a hardware store in Crossfield where police located it abandoned.
According to the statement, investigators were able to confirm a white, 2017 GMC Sierra truck, stolen from Cranbrook, B.C. on March 7, picked up the suspect responsible for the theft of the Ford F-350 and then departed the area.
With the assistance of the Southern Alberta RCMP Crime Reduction Unit, Calgary Police Service HAWCs Air Support, Airdrie Rural RCMP and RCMP Police Dog Services, the white GMC truck was located and a surveillance operation ensued, according to police.
“The GMC was observed operating within the City of Airdrie at high rates of speed during high pedestrian and vehicle traffic times,” the statement said. “The suspect vehicle continued into the City of Calgary where the surveillance operation was assisted by Calgary Police Service ground units, again operating in a dangerous manner through residential neighbourhoods and driving down public walking paths."
According to police, the suspects eventually ditched the white GMC south of the Calgary International Airport and fled on foot.
Calgary Police Service K9 and Patrol members were able to arrest the driver, the statement said.
Kyle Vaughan, 37, who police described as “a prolific property offender from Calgary,” was arrested and transported back to the Didsbury RCMP detachment, according to the statement.
He was charged with 23 Criminal Code offences, including possession of stolen property and dangerous driving.
Vaughan was remanded into custody to appear by CCTV in provincial court in Airdrie provincial court on March 16 at 9:30 a.m.
Police said approximately $35,000 worth of stolen property was located within the Ford F-350 and GMC Sierra trucks, which has been subsequently linked to property crimes in Alberta and British Columbia, the RCMP statement said.
Police estimate the total value of stolen property recovered, including the vehicles, was $130,000.
RCMP say the recovered property includes:
• a Honda 5000 Generator stolen from a work site in Calgary;
• Geographical imagining equipment stolen from a worksite in Calgary;
• stolen electrical wire from Sparwood, B.C.;
• stolen pedal bikes from Didsbury;
• stolen electrical wire from Tsuu T’ina Nation;
• stolen inventory scanners from Calgary;
• stolen 2017 GMC Sierra truck from Cranbrook, B.C.:
• stolen 2003 Ford F350 truck stolen from Didsbury; and
• stolen credit cards and personal identification.
The investigation is ongoing, police said, adding “as investigators are in the process of identifying the owners of additional recovered property and returning identified property to the rightful owners.”
RCMP Staff Sgt. Browne, commander of Didsbury RCMP detachment, was quoted as saying, “This operation was a collaborative effort by the RCMP Detachments in Didsbury and Airdrie, the Southern Alberta RCMP Crime Reduction Unit, and Calgary Police Service, to apprehend a property offender who has been targeting communities in Alberta and British Columbia, while minimizing the risk to public safety. These are not victimless crimes and every effort should be made to ensure these habitual or prolific offenders are held accountable for their actions.”