ATHABASCA – Two High Prairie men who allegedly stole and attempted to steal several vehicles on their way south were arrested in Morinville last week, after making their way through the Island Lake area, which prompted Athabasca RCMP to join the pursuit.
Lyle Nanooch and Sylas Grey-Gladue were arrested in Morinville Jan. 10 and charged with vehicle theft after the pair stole a vehicle in High Prairie at 10 a.m., and led law enforcement on a chase through four counties that ended 350 km away at 9 p.m.
Along the way, they stopped at a gas station on the highway near Island Lake where they took another vehicle, which they eventually abandoned in Morinville, and were then pursued and apprehended by officers on foot, said Athabasca RCMP Const. Jay Tessier.
“They stole a couple vehicles and were caught in the vehicle they took from here,” he said, adding three local members were involved in the pursuit, along with High Prairie members and a specialized unit member overseeing the operation over the radio.
“Eventually, we stopped the pursuit because they were driving crazy, and then they were found ditched in Morinville.”
That vehicle theft was one of 10 such calls for service Athabasca RCMP members responded to between Dec. 1 and Jan. 12, over the course of what was a relatively quiet holiday season and New Year, with just over 300 calls coming into the local detachment during that period.
“Christmas Day itself was a little busy in Calling Lake, but for Athabasca it wasn't too bad, minus the fire on Canyon Road and then for New Year’s, again, it wasn't too bad,” said Tessier, who worked both holidays.
In those six weeks Tessier also noted the detachment was called to investigate 10 assaults — two of those were domestic incidents. There were also two other assaults involving weapons, and a further sexual assault where a charge was laid.
There were also 10 break-ins to Athabasca businesses in that time, including one involving the theft of a snowmobile. In addition, there were two residential break-ins; one charge of unlawfully being in a dwelling; and two break-ins to vehicles, one of which was to steal a firearm.
RCMP were also made aware of a fraud case that involved nearly $25,000 of Bitcoin. A local man came to RCMP to report the incident, handing over some of the evidence he had already gathered from his Internet service provider. The file will be forwarded to a specialized unit within the RCMP that deals in electronic crime.
That was one of two fraud over $5,000 calls received by the local detachment and there were three other fraud under $5,000 complaints filed.
Members also dealt with six possession of stolen property over $5,000 calls; six for uttering threats; and one of criminal harassment. There were also 14 mischief investigations — three resulted in charges.
RCMP also assisted in 13 calls involving the Mental Health Act; three child welfare calls; two complaints of causing undue suffering to an animal, involving livestock; and 11 breaches.
On the traffic side, there were also 73 collisions, many involving deer strikes, but only two hit-and-runs. Three were also charged with impaired driving.