Friday, June 27, 2014

Policing in Alberta to June 27, 2014

Missing Calgary man
Fatal motorcycle crash near Vulcan
Man shot and killed in woods near Grande Prairie
MVC on Highway 1 near Brooks
Theft of concrete ornaments in Blackfalds
Stolen Olympic ring recovered
Southern Alberta auto theft investigation results in charges
Stolen Skytrak
Construction equipment thefts in Fort McMurray area
Red Deer traffic campaigns target various infractions
Suspicious garbage fires in Spruce Grove
Borealis Park homicide investigation continues
Nighttime break-in in Calgary
Reward offered in relation to Calgary double homicide

Missing Calgary man

The Calgary Police Service is seeking public assistance for any information about a man last seen swimming in the Bow River on June 25, 2014, who has not been seen since.

Missing: Derek Blackrider
On Wednesday, June 25, 2014, shortly after 5:00 pm Derek BLACKRIDER, 37, of Calgary, was with associates when he entered the Bow River at Shouldice Park for a swim. Witnesses lost sight of him shortly afterwards. The Calgary Fire Department aquatics team and numerous CPS units, including HAWCS, were utilized to search for the missing man. The search for BLACKRIDER was unsuccessful.

BLACKRIDER is described as Native, 5’8” tall, 150 lbs., with brown hair and wearing glasses. He was last seen wearing a red shirt and dark jeans.

Fatal motorcycle crash near Vulcan

On Wednesday June 25, 2014 at approximately 7:45 pm Vulcan RCMP were dispatched to a two motorcycle collision 5 kilometres west of Vulcan on Highway 534. Vulcan Fire and EMS also attended the scene.

As a result of the investigation, it was determined that 53 year old and 40 year old were travelling eastbound on separate motorcycles when they collided and slid down the highway.

One of the riders was transported by STARS air ambulance to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary and the other was pronounced deceased on scene.

The investigation continues into this incident.

Man shot and killed in woods near Grande Prairie

On June 25 at approximately 9:00 pm Grande Prairie Rural RCMP were called to a complaint of shots fired in a location south of the city. A search by police resulted in a deceased male being located in a wooded area. Grande Prairie RCMP have contacted the Major Crimes Unit from K-Division to assist with the investigation.
MVC on Highway 1 near Brooks

At approximately 2:30 pm on June 26, 2014 Brooks RCMP responded to a report of a Motor Vehicle Collision on Highway 1. A SUV traveling northbound on Highway 36 failed to proceed safely after stopping at the stop sign at the intersection with Highway 1. The SUV collided with a minivan traveling westbound on Highway 1. The female driver of the SUV and a female passenger of the minivan were transported by ambulance to Brooks Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and precautionary measures. The collision is still under investigation at this time.

Theft of concrete ornaments in Blackfalds

On June 26, 2014 the Blackfalds RCMP received a complaint from the management at the Summerland Leisure Park and Mini Golf, near Gull Lake, of a theft from their business. Sometime between June 23 and June 24, 2014 unknown culprits went onto the business premises and stole a number of ornaments and characters that were situated on the mini golf course. A concrete pig with a diaper, angels, frogs, turtles and a bobble head dog were all stolen. The value of the items is approximately $500. Thew culprits likely thought of this theft as a joke but a criminal offence has been committed.

The Blackfalds RCMP continue their investigation but are asking for the public's assistance to determine the whereabouts of the cast of characters. If anyone knows the person's responsible or the whereabouts of the characters they are asked to call Crimestoppers or the Blackfalds RCMP at 403-885-3300. If the culprits read or hear this message they are asked to return the characters.

Stolen Olympic ring recovered

The Olympic ring belonging to Brad Jacobs that had been stolen on June 21st has been recovered by Boyle RCMP. A woman remains in custody and police are tracking down a male suspect.

At 10:00 PM on June 26th, 2014 after receiving a number of tips from the general public and conducting a review of video surveillance investigators were able to identify two suspects. Investigators narrowed the focus of the investigation to a local residence where the ring was subsequently recovered. Along with the ring other personal items belonging to Mr. Jacobs and another theft victim were recovered.

"The number of tips we received from the public during the course of this investigation was tremendous. This theft was solved by a community pulling together saying we won't stand for this type of behaviour," says Sgt. Kevin McGillivray, Boyle RCMP Detachment Commander.

A female suspect was arrested and led officers to the stolen property. Charges are now pending against a 22 year old woman from High Prairie, AB and a 22 year old man from Calling Lake, AB. The female suspect remains in custody. Efforts are being made to locate the male. The names of the suspects are not being released at this time.

Investigation into this matter is ongoing.

Southern Alberta auto theft investigation results in charges

As part of an ongoing investigation, members of the Northern and Southern Alberta RCMP Auto Theft Unit as well as the Calgary Police Service Auto Theft Unit, executed a Judicially Authorized Search Warrant on a rural property in Rocky View County. 

 33 year old Bernard Penner was arrested and charged with 12 Criminal Code offences including:
  • Possession of Stolen Property Over $5000
  • Tamper with Vehicle Identification Number
  • Fraudulent Concealment
  • Assault
  • Being Unlawfully in a Dwelling house
  • Fraud Over $5000
Penner has been remanded into custody and will appear in Calgary Provincial Court on Friday, June 27, 2014.

Penner has been operating a company called "Calgary Landscaper". His business operations included renting out stolen machinery and equipment. He has listed ads on Kijiji and was selling and/or renting the machinery and equipment to unsuspecting buyers. The police have seized over $400,000.00 worth of stolen vehicles, trailers, heavy equipment, and machinery which were allegedly connected to Penner. The property seized includes, skid steers, fork lift, wood chipper, excavators, trailers, and numerous landscaping power tools, all of which were stolen throughout the province of Alberta.

The investigation is ongoing and officers expect to recover several more pieces of equipment. It is believed that there are individuals that are currently in possession of property obtained from Penner. If anyone is in possession of items purchased or rented from Bernard Penner or Calgary Landscaper, please contact Cpl. Anderson of the RCMP Auto Theft Unit at 403-701-1462.

Stolen Skytrak

Between the hours of 6:00 pm on June 18, 2014 and 8:00 am on June 19th, 2014 a 2006 Skytrak model 1054 valued at $70,000.00 was stolen from a residence under construction situated at the new Watermark housing development off 12 mile coulee road in the NW part of Calgary. The owner of the Skytrak arrived at the construction site on the morning of June 19th, 2014 and noticed the machinery missing and called Police. An investigation identified an eyewitness who informed Police two males were observed loading the Skytrack onto an awaiting semi truck with trailer on the evening of June 18, 2014 however Police were not notified at that time.

Police are seeking the public's assistance in locating the Skytrak and the identity of the persons responsible for this theft. Cochrane RCMP can be contacted at (403) 851-8000 or by calling Crimestoppers at 1 800-222-8477.

Theft of construction equipment in Fort McMurray area

The Wood Buffalo RCMP is actively investigating two separate thefts of construction equipment.

Between June 22 and 24, a Caterpillar skid steer, Model 287, yellow in colour, was taken from a secured compound located on Highway 63 at km marker 204.

Then, on June 25, between midnight and 9:20 a.m. a second Caterpillar skid steer, Model 277B, was taken from a secured compound located in the industrial park on Hwy 881. This particular skid steer has been described as yellow and black with an 8 foot snow bucket attached. The approximate value of the equipment is $40,000.

The two separate incidents are in their initial stages of investigation and it is unknown at this time if they are related. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wood Buffalo RCMP.

Red Deer traffic campaigns target various infractions

Red Deer RCMP are ramping up their prevention and enforcement work with a series of ongoing campaigns that target various driving violations in Red Deer. The campaigns focus on distracted driving, seatbelt infractions, intersection violations, speeding and impaired driving, which Corporal Matt LaBelle of Traffic Services describes as the most common – and dangerous – traffic issues in Red Deer.

“Our goal is to create safer roads and to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities for Red Deerians,” says LaBelle. “We do that through ongoing public education about unsafe driving practices paired with enforcement.”

RCMP ran two checkstops on Saturday, June 21 with the following results:
  • six impaired drivers arrested and charged
  • one 30-day suspension for a GDL Driver, for blowing 0-50 mg%
  • one 72-hour suspension for blowing 50-100 mg%
  • one 24-hour suspension for drugs
  • one suspended driver
  • one charge of no insurance, set at a minimum of $2875.00
  • one CDSA (drug possession) charge
  • nine other Provincial charges
As well as checkstops, Traffic Services actively patrol for driving violations in marked and unmarked police vehicles. In some instances, people may be pulled over by police in marked cruisers and ticketed on the spot. As well, police make regular patrols in pairs in unmarked vehicles; the officer in the passenger seat will take notes and photograph infractions and license plates – people talking on cell phones while driving, for example – and tickets are sent through the mail to the registered owner of the vehicle.

“People think it won’t happen to them – that their driving habits are harmless and that they’re in control – but police deal with the ramifications of bad driving habits every day,” says LaBelle. “Albertans die or are injured on a regular basis because of distracted drivers, not wearing a seatbelt, dangerous moves in intersections, speeding and impaired drivers.”

The numbers don’t lie:
  • Research indicates that driver distraction contributes to 20 - 30% of all collisions. 
  • Distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a collision than attentive drivers.
  • Research and collision investigations show that seatbelts increase the chances of survival in a collision by 50%. According to Transport Canada, almost 35% of drivers and passengers killed in collisions were not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the crash. 
  • In 2012, 70 people were killed and 7,957 people were injured in collisions at intersections in Alberta. About 88% of collisions are attributable to driver error. 
  • Almost three out of every ten fatal crashes, or 27%, involve driving at a speed unsafe for the prevailing road conditions.
  • On average in Alberta, one in five drivers involved in fatal collisions have been drinking prior to the collision. This compares to an average of about one in 20 drivers involved in injury collisions. As the severity of the collision increases, so does the likelihood the collision will involve a drinking driver.
The Office of Traffic Safety with Alberta Transportation has designated each month of 2014 to focus on specific traffic infractions and safety issues, and the focus for June is vehicle safety. With that in mind, Red Deer RCMP would like to remind the public of safe driving practices that should be top of every driver’s mind.

Safe driving practices:
  • Program your music or your route before you start driving.
  • Buckle up.
  • If you need to attend to a child or pet, take a call, or write something down, find a safe spot to park your vehicle before doing so.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected and share the road safely.
  • Pay special attention at intersections: to pedestrians, to your driving and the driving of others.
  • Obey all posted speed limits: on roads, in school zones and playground areas, construction zones, and when passing emergency vehicles.
  • Use common sense – slow down in bad weather, at night, and when driving on poorly lit roads.
  • If you’re drinking, use a designated driver, a taxi or public transportation.
Suspicious garbage fires in Spruce Grove

On June 23rd, Spruce Grove RCMP and Spruce Grove Fire Services responded to numerous calls of garbage being deliberately set on fire in the Brookwood area of Spruce Grove, specifically in the alleys behind Brookwood Drive, Balmoral Avenue and Beverly Avenue. To date no significant damage has been reported, however, when fire is involved the potential for serious consequences is always present and police are taking this matter very seriously.

The person or persons responsible have not yet been identified and the fires are still under investigation. Police are recommending area residents take precautions to secure any garbage cans, loose garbage and flammable items in their neighbourhoods.

Borealis Park homicide investigation continues

June 26 marks the 3rd anniversary of the deaths of James and William Beck. The Wood Buffalo RCMP continue to actively investigate these homicides.

On June 26, 2011, police responded to a complaint of an assault that occurred at the Borealis Park near downtown Fort McMurray. When investigators arrived on scene it was evident that an altercation had taken place between a number of individuals that resulted in the two young males being fatally wounded.

The investigation into this incident remains active and on-going. Although a significant amount of time has passed, police are still looking to speak with anyone who may have further information in regards to this matter.

Nighttime break-in in Calgary

The Calgary Police Service is reminding residents to ensure their doors and windows are properly secured.

On Wednesday, June 25, 2014, at approximately 2:30 a.m., a woman was asleep in her residence in the 900 block of Raynard Crescent SE Calgary. The woman was awakened by a noise and then looked at her bedroom door where she saw what appeared to be an unknown person looking into her room. When the woman proceeded to make a noise, the suspect disappeared from the doorway. The woman moved from her bedroom to the hallway where she observed the suspect running southbound in the alley.

The Service is concerned anytime someone attempts to enter an occupied residence, especially at night.

Calgarians are reminded to ensure their homes are always secured, regardless of whether or not their residence is occupied, and to immediately report any suspicious activity to police.

Reward offered in relation to Calgary double homicide

A reward is being offered by friends of two murder victims, as police continue to investigate the February homicide.

Just before 1 p.m., on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, the Calgary Fire Department responded to a carbon monoxide complaint at a residence on Lake Erie Road SE Calgary. Two people were found deceased inside the residence.  Carbon monoxide was ruled out as a contributing factor and the Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit was brought in to investigate.

The victims were later identified as Don CARLSON, 59, and Roxanne CARLSON, 56. The cause of death has not been released.

Due to the overwhelming amount of data and evidence collected in relation to this case, a team of investigators has been established, under the lead of a dedicated staff sergeant.  The team continues to ask for information from the community, particularly from anyone who may have seen suspicious activity, people or vehicles around the time of the incident.

It is believed that on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, an unknown individual or group of individuals gained access into the residence and murdered the couple. A motive is still unclear.

Friends of Don and Roxanne CARLSON, who wish to remain anonymous, are offering a reward of $25,000 for any public information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for this crime.

The Calgary Police Commission is the sole arbiter with regard to the disbursement of this reward. Reward funds may be apportioned on an equitable basis. Any decisions which are made by the Calgary Police Commission regarding award disbursement are final and binding, and not reviewable in a court of law.

Anyone who may have information about this case is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service by email at or by telephone (403) 428-8877 and an investigator will contact you. This reward offer expires on June 30, 2015.

The $25,000 reward is offered independently of Crime Stoppers. However, those who wish to remain anonymous may submit a tip to Crime Stoppers. Any tips that that lead to an arrest are eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

Contact Crime Stoppers using any of the following methods:
TALK: 1-800-222-8477
TEXT: tttTIPS to 274637
Investigators would like to thank those who have assisted in the investigation to date.

A website has been developed by family in tribute to Roxanne and Don CARLSON, at

The following statement was read by Rob Carlson at a media availability on June 26:

I am Don’s brother Rob and I am here today to speak on behalf of the Carlson and Watson families; but most importantly for Don and Roxanne’s children, Graig, Laura and Danielle. The death of any family member is a great loss, but to lose both parents in such a senseless manner is tragic. Our family is devastated by the loss of two such special people. There is nothing that can prepare you for something like this.

Needless to say, this is a lot for three young adults to have to deal with. Over a four-month span they lost a grandmother, their parents and most recently a grandfather. What our family is going through is unimaginable. But, having said that, with the support of family and friends we are all coping as best we can. This tragedy has brought an already tight-knit family even closer together and we will do whatever it takes to ensure Graig, Laura and Danielle get all the love, support and guidance needed to help ensure their lives are as happy and as fulfilling as they can be.

In the upcoming days, months and years, there will be many special occasions and milestones we will experience together as a family, but we will always feel the emptiness of those loved ones taken from us and that they will not be here to share them. Not a single day goes by where we don’t think about Don and Roxanne; we miss their smiles and their laughter.

There are just so many unanswered questions. Our biggest hope now is that all the hard work being put forth by the Calgary Police Service will soon bring those responsible for this horrible crime to justice so we can at least get some measure of closure to help us move forward with our lives with a little less burden to carry.

Thank you.

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