RED DEER COUNTY — The Innisfail RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS) played a role in coordinating with other police units in a successful effort to track down and apprehend two males who were charged in connection with stolen vehicles.
On Thursday, Oct. 1 at about 8:30 a.m., RCMP said in a press release issued earlier today that a peace officer from Lacombe County came upon a driver in a pickup truck who was attempting to pull another pickup truck out of a ditch near Twp. Rd. 412 on Rge. Rd. 271 in Lacombe County.
The officer was seated in his vehicle at the scene when a 28-year-old driver in one of the pickup trucks rammed the front end of the peace officer’s service vehicle before fleeing the scene.
A civilian passer-by who saw the situation unfold stopped and left their vehicle to verify the wellbeing of the officer, when the second male suspect — later identified as a 32-year-old — stole the Good Samaritan’s vehicle and promptly drove off.
Shortly afterwards, the 28-year-old male returned to the location, when he reportedly drove towards the peace officer, who at the time was standing outside on the road. Police said the officer was forced to react quickly to avoid being struck, and the suspect once again made a quick getaway heading eastbound on Rge. Rd. 412.
Following the close call, a bulletin was subsequently issued to all law enforcement and resources from Blackfalds RCMP, Innisfail RCMP, Innisfail RCMP Traffic Services while additional neighbouring RCMP detachments of Didsbury, Olds and Airdrie were also deployed in search of the suspects. Blackfalds RCMP GIS took over carriage of the investigation.
A number of sightings of the suspect vehicles were reported on Highway 11 and Highway 2. These sightings included a report of one of the vehicles being abandoned as well as a theft of another vehicle occurring in a rural area near Innisfail.
Innisfail RCMP GIS as well as the Southern Alberta District RCMP Crime Reduction Unit established surveillance of the newly stolen vehicle.
Police eventually managed to successfully deploy a tire deflation device that disabled the stolen vehicle. The individual involved in this incident was believed to have been the 28-year-old male.
After being disabled, the newly stolen vehicle was abandoned and the male attempted to steal another vehicle from a nearby rural property by breaking the glass, injuring himself in the process. The suspect, later identified as Jordan McConnell, 28, was arrested by police and taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries related to the attempted theft of motor vehicle.
McConnell, of no fixed address, is charged with:
• assault with a weapon;
• possession of stolen property more than $5,000;
• operate a conveyance in a manner dangerous to the public;
• operate a conveyance involved in an accident and failure to stop and offer assistance.
Following a judicial hearing, McConnell was remanded into custody to speak to bail on Friday, Oct. 16 in Red Deer provincial court.
On Friday, Oct. 2, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) advised RCMP that the civilian’s stolen vehicle had been located and a canine unit had been successful in tracking down a 32-year-old male connected with the stolen vehicle. Officers from the Blackfalds RCMP then took custody of the suspect from EPS.
Further investigation comparing video footage recorded by the Lacombe County peace officer’s vehicle confirmed the identity of the subject taken into custody as believed to be the same individual involved in the incident the day prior.
Jorge McConnell, 32, of no fixed address, is charged with:
• theft of motor vehicle
• possession of stolen property less than $5,000
Following a judicial hearing, the accused was remanded into custody to speak to bail on Tuesday, Oct. 13 in Red Deer provincial court.
As this matter is now before the courts, no updates are anticipated.
The peace officer was later admitted to hospital and treated for injuries before being released.
“We are thankful no one was seriously injured in these events,” said Staff Sergeant Dan Martin, Blackfalds RCMP Detachment Commander.
“The quick response of officers from multiple detachments and agencies resulted in the arrest of the two suspects and prevented further offences from occurring.”