Teens arrested, stolen guns recovered after northern Alberta crime spree

After a night spent hiding in the woods in freezing cold temperatures, the last of five teenagers suspected of multiple break-ins in northeast Alberta was finally tracked down with help from an RCMP helicopter.

Police lay more than 100 charges against suspects wanted in series of break-ins

RCMP say teenagers wanted for a series of break-ins near Laurier Lake now face more than 100 criminal charges. (CBC)

After a night spent hiding in the woods in freezing cold temperatures, the last of five teenagers suspected of multiple break-ins in northeast Alberta was finally tracked down with help from an RCMP helicopter.

The arrest, police say, brought an end to a crime spree that had plagued rural residents in the Laurier Lake area east of Elk Point, Alta.

RCMP say the Eastern Alberta District Rural Crime Reduction Unit (EADRCRU) was deployed to St. Paul County last week to help investigate a series of break-ins.

Tips from the public helped identify vehicles used to commit the break and enters, police said Tuesday in a news release.

On the evening of Dec. 6, one of the suspect vehicles was used in a break and enter in the Cold Lake area, then fled the scene, police said. RCMP located the vehicle in Fishing Lake. As police followed the vehicle, the occupants tossed out several stolen firearms, police said.

Officers finally disabled the vehicle with spike belts. The five occupants ran off into the woods.

One teen treated for exposure to cold

A 19-year-old woman, who had a firearm, and a 17-year-old girl, both from Frog Lake, were arrested with the help of police dogs.

The search for the remaining three suspects continued into the night, RCMP said in the news release.

Two 17-year-old males from Fishing Lake were found and arrested. The last holdout was located on the morning of Dec. 7, with the assistance of a police helicopter.

The 17-year-old male from Elizabeth Mé​tis Settlement was transported to hospital, where he was treated for exposure to cold. He was later released into police custody.

Police said they recovered stolen property, several stolen firearms discarded by the suspects, a car and a truck stolen from Kitscoty, an off-highway-vehicle stolen from Cold Lake and another truck stolen from Dewberry.

During the investigation, officers also arrested two more teenage boys suspected of committing unrelated break-ins.

In all, RCMP laid more than 100 charges, including flight from police, theft over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, possession of a firearm obtained by the commission of an offence, resisting arrest and breaking and entering.

The break and enters in the Laurier Lake area are still under investigation.

Elk Point RCMP are asking anyone who saw a black Ford F-350 with red fender flares or a black Dodge Ram with a loud exhaust in Laurier Lake or surrounding areas to contact them.