SUNDRE — RCMP arrested and charged an alleged copper wire thief during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.
At 3:59 a.m., Sundre RCMP received a report of a break and enter in progress at the Plains Midstream tank farm north of town off of Highway 22, said Sundre RCMP Cpl. Joe Mandel.
“Police were in the vicinity and immediately attended the area. The officer located fresh footprints in the snow and (discovered) the chain-link fence (had been) cut, and followed drag marks where he located a lone male attempting to hide.”
The suspect was subsequently taken into custody without incident, he said.
“A large amount of copper wire was seized close to where the male was hiding.”
Tyler Kellington, 32, of Red Deer, was charged with several criminal code offences including break and enter, mischief and theft. Kellington was brought before a justice of the peace, where he was released on a $2,000 promise-to-pay release order in which he was ordered to appear in provincial court in Didsbury on Feb. 1 to speak to the allegations.
Mandel, who was on night shift from Dec. 24-26, said, “It was pretty quiet in Sundre over Christmas.”
Members did conduct a check stop on New Year’s Eve for a couple of hours, Mandel added.
The corporal said that out of 56 drivers checked, 52 were given mandatory alcohol screening. The vast majority — 92 per cent — blew zero, while three drivers blew under the legal limit. One driver, however, received an immediate roadside sanction, he said.
Other local emergency services reported no serious incidents between Christmas and New Year’s, from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1.
The situation seemed even more quiet for local firefighters.
“The call volume was low,” said the Sundre Fire Department’s acting Chief Alex Clews, adding, nothing significant happened and that there were no fires or motor vehicle collisions attended to.
“It was pretty quiet, which is always a good thing,” said Clews.
There were fewer than half a dozen calls throughout the week, and were mostly emergency medical assists, he said.
“It was good, everybody was safe, and our guys got to spend time with their families.”
Although ongoing, the department’s effort to restructure after the departure of former Chief Marty Butts late last summer has been hampered by the pandemic, he said.
“In the new year, we’re gonna hit the ground running on training, COVID permitting, as much as we can,” he said.
“The direction of the department’s looking great,” he said.
“We got a great group of guys.”
Once restrictions are eased, Clews said recruitment efforts will once again ramp up.
“We haven’t been able to bring anybody else on yet. Just due to COVID restrictions, we can’t get our interviews and everything done yet,” he said.
“We’re kind of just on hold until all the COVID stuff is lifted.”