Edmonton police officer allegedly stole cash from crime scene he was guarding
Const. David Ahlstrom has been charged with three counts of theft
An Edmonton police officer charged with three counts of theft this week allegedly stole cash from a home he was assigned to guard as a crime scene, CBC has learned.
On Oct. 4, 2016, police responded at about 2:30 a.m. to reports of a break and enter and aggravated assault on McConachie Boulevard.
The homeowners, a man and his wife, were severely beaten, tied up and blindfolded by several suspects who demanded money and drugs. Shots were fired. Another man was found in the basement, suffering from a gunshot wound. Terrence Albert, 23, died later in hospital. No arrests have been made.
Police later determined the attackers targeted the wrong house.
Ahlstrom was assigned that night to help secure the crime scene at the northeast-Edmonton home, according to CBC News sources and court records. At some point, the constable went inside the house — into the crime scene — and allegedly stole cash after the owners had been taken to hospital.
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'She was asking if I heard anything'
According to a land title search, the same couple still owns the home where the crime occurred. CBC News was unable to reach them for comment.
Ashish Lall and his wife, Bonnie John, live across the street. They remember being awakened on the night of the home invasion.
"A police officer came and knocked on my door," Lall said. "She was asking if I heard anything, any shooting. I said no, I was sleeping."
He said the police presence made him feel safer, despite the violent crime that had just happened.
Lall and his wife were both shocked Friday to hear that one officer on the scene that night has been accused of stealing from the crime victims.
"It's not right," John said. "We trust the policeman. But if they do something like that, that's not nice, you know."
Sources told CBC News that Ahlstrom allegedly turned the stolen money in at the end of his next shift.
That's when police took their concerns to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team.
Ahlstrom was demoted to front desk duty, and ASIRT continued to investigate.
"The officer was unaware that he was under investigation," ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson said Thursday at a news conference. "Or would have not been aware of the status of the investigation until last (Wednesday) night."
The constable continued to work at the front counter at the northeast Edmonton police station. While on duty, he allegedly stole cash and cigarettes in May, then more cash and prepaid Visa cards this week.
Ahlstrom has been charged with three counts of theft and three counts of breach of trust. He is scheduled to appear in court in mid-September.
ASIRT and the Edmonton Police Service have declined further comment on the case.