Calgary car crash leads to 155 charges and recovery of 14 stolen vehicles
Six people charged in relation to armed carjacking and vehicle thefts
A car crash in Calgary last month led city police to team up with Airdrie RCMP for an investigation that resulted in six arrests, 155 charges and the recovery of 14 vehicles worth $250,000.
Police said Friday they believe the group is responsible for 18 vehicle thefts in the Calgary area. Most were stolen when the vehicle was left running unattended or through garage break-ins, but there was at least one carjacking, police said.
The initial collision that police responded to took place Oct. 21 on Harvest Oak Rise N.E. and involved a stolen Audi S4.
Shortly after the crash, the driver of the stolen car was picked up by a man driving a stolen Mercedes and together they fled the scene in the vehicle, police said.
Investigators say the Mercedes used by the two men to escape had been stolen the previous day via an armed carjacking in Airdrie.
At that point, a team was assembled to track down the offenders. The team included the Calgary Police Service's auto theft unit, canine unit, tactical unit, the prolific offender engagement team and the HAWCS helicopter and the RCMP.
Just after midnight on Oct. 25, Calgary police and the RCMP arrested five individuals south of the city, outside of a residence in De Winton, near Macleod Trail and Township Road 220.
While arrests were being made, investigators seized a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.
A sixth suspect was arrested later that day.
"This case highlights the significant amount of resources and partnerships that go into stolen vehicle investigations," said Staff Sgt. Graeme Smiley of the CPS district support unit.
"Criminals operate stolen vehicles with little to no regard for the safety of other citizens and are constantly crossing jurisdictional boundaries. We are thankful for our partners at the RCMP for their assistance with this investigation."
Six people are facing charges relating to stolen property, weapons, driving offences, failing to comply with release conditions and failing to attend court:
- Justin Michael Ward, 28.
- Kage Ragaisis, 20.
- Kelton Lee Travis, 19.
- Evelyn Sadie Clare, 18.
- Casey Alan Cousins, 26.
- Jesse Strongeagle, 24.
Ragaisis is also facing five charges in connection to the Airdrie carjacking, including robbery with a firearm and pointing a firearm.