Mounties have arrested and charged two Calgary residents believed to be responsible for a string of break and enters spanning from Drumheller to Sundre.
The Drumheller RCMP General Investigative Section also seized weapons as well as drugs and recovered stolen property following an investigation into a series of break and enters, including to Canada Post locations in Carbon, Sundre, and Cremona.
“This was a complex and multi-jurisdictional investigation that involved several persons being victimized,” Staff Sgt. Rob Harms, Drumheller detachment commander, was quoted as saying in a Nov. 25 RCMP press release.
“The success of the investigation demonstrates the abilities and determination of our investigators and partner agencies to hold persons accountable for their actions, and is another step to ensure safe and secure communities.”
The timeline of offences allegedly committed by the accused stretch back to Sept. 22, when Airdrie RCMP were dispatched to the Petro Canada on Edmonton Trail where a verbal altercation had reportedly occurred and culminated in a male retrieving a firearm from a vehicle and then pointing it at the victim.
Then, on Oct. 10, Didsbury RCMP responded to a report of a break and enter at the Cremona Canada Post office, and an investigation was subsequently conducted.
Less than one week later on Oct. 15, members of the Didsbury detachment followed up on a complaint of an attempted break and enter at the Carbon Bottle Depot as well as the theft of a 2019 Ford F150. Two days later, Calgary Police Service recovered the stolen 2019 Ford F150 in the Falcon Ridge area of Calgary.
Another week went by before the offenders reappeared on the police radar, when on Oct. 23 Drumheller RCMP were called out to another report of a break and enter to the Carbon Canada Post and Carbon Farmers Exchange. Additionally, police said there was a second attempt of a break and enter to the Carbon Bottle Depot.
They were back at it by Nov. 16, when members of the Sundre detachment were dispatched to a call about a break and enter at the Sundre post office.
The investigation eventually led the Drumheller RCMP – in coordination with Calgary Police Service, Calgary Police Tac Team, RCMP Crime Reduction Unit, Federal Serious and Organized Crime, Crime Reduction Intelligence Analyst, Sundre RCMP, a Canada Post inspector, and Drumheller GIS – to execute a warrant in Calgary, where police believed items stolen from three of the break and enters were being stored.
Police found and seized the following:
• stolen property from the Cremona, Carbon, and Sundre Canada Post break and enters;
• large quantity of stolen mail;
• clothing and tools utilized in the Cremona, Carbon, and Sundre Canada Post break and enters;
• what is believed to be methamphetamine and psilocybin;
• a black airsoft gun believed to have been used in the commission of an offence; and
• an extendable baton.
Matthew Hreczuch, 37, and Becca Wood-Stairs, 27, both residents of Calgary, have been charged with:
• four counts of break and enter to commit theft;
• three counts of mail theft;
• four counts of disguise with intent; and
• possession of break-in instruments.
Additionally, Hreczuch was individually charged with the following:
• break and enter;
• mail theft;
• two counts of possession of break-in instruments;
• four counts of breach of firearms/weapons prohibition;
• pointing a firearm;
• possession of a prohibited weapon; and
• uttering threats.
Hreczuch was scheduled for three separate court dates and remanded until his Nov. 25 appearances in Calgary court for the charges stemming from the Airdrie incident, and in Drumheller court for the charges pertaining to the Carbon incident. The accused is also set to appear on Nov. 28 before the court in Didsbury for the charges connected with the Sundre and Cremona incidents.
Wood-Stairs was released from custody on a release order and is scheduled to appear in Didsbury court on Dec. 5 over the charges resulting from the Sundre and Cremona incidents, and then again in Drumheller court on Dec. 9 for the charges related to Carbon.