Saturday, August 23, 2014

Policing in Alberta to August 23, 2014

Sexual assault in Lloydminster
Vehicle arson in Hilliard
Campaign against impaired driving in Vegreville
St. Albert RCMP Inspector accepts ALS Challenge
Fuel theft near Rocky Mtn. House
Lost engagement ring in Hinton
Suspicious fire in Wetaskiwin
Edmonton pharmacy robberies suspect charged
Early morning homicide in Calgary
Action Coalition on Human Trafficking Alberta receives federal funding
Federal Victims Strategy and Victims Fund
Civil Forfeiture Fund helps Calgary kids

Sexual assault in Lloydminster

Lloydminster RCMP

On August 19, 2014, Lloydminster RCMP received a report from a woman who advised she was sexually assaulted while she was walking near the train tracks at 48 Avenue, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, at about 2:30 a.m.

The 41 year old Lloydminster woman told police she was assaulted by an unknown man after leaving her friend’s house which was nearby where the assault occurred. The suspect was described as a between 5’11” and 6’1” tall, skinny, younger man. He was wearing a black hooded jacket with the hood up and dark coloured pants. The victim also told police that the suspect partially concealed his face which made it difficult for the victim to provide further descriptors.

“Police are taking this investigation very seriously and are working diligently to identify the person responsible,” said Constable KIRZINGER. “Our priority is, and will always be, the safety of the community, and we are asking for the public’s assistance for any information that could assist our investigation.”

Lloydminster RCMP General Investigation Unit has taken conduct of the investigation. “This is an isolated incident and the police want to ensure the public that it is being investigated thoroughly.”

Vehicle arson in Hilliard

Vegreville RCMP

On July 27th, 2014, at 2:15 a.m. the Vegreville RCMP responded to a vehicle fire in the Village of Hilliard. An older model Ford truck was parked outside of a local business when it was found on fire. The investigation has determined the cause of the fire to be arson.

Vegreville RCMP would like to thank the concerned citizens of Hilliard who reported the fire, as well as encourage anyone with any information about this investigation to contact the Vegreville Detachment or Crimestoppers.

The Vegreville RCMP can advise that the house arson reported on August 21st, 2014, in Vegreville is not related to this occurrence.

Campaign against impaired driving in Vegreville

left to right: Sgt. Jeremie Landry (Vegreville Detachment Commander). Peace Officer Dustin Angle (Town of Vegreville). Sgt. Maurice Steen (Commercial Vehicle Enforcement - St. Paul). Colleen Pidzarko-Armitage (Program Manager Veg-Al Drug Society). Peace Officer Ken Podoborozny (Town of Vegreville). Joanne Stewart (Health Promotion Facilitator Alberta Health Services).
Photo taken by Becky Oxton, Regional Traffic Safety Consultant
Vegreville RCMP

On August 22nd, 2014, Vegreville RCMP partnered with the Town of Vegreville Peace Officers, and other Town partners during a checkstop to educate the public on impaired driving. Impaired driving gift bags were handed out to send the message home regarding the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. 200 vehicles were checked during the checkstop. During the checkstop one driver was arrested for possession of cannabis marihuana, issued a driver's licence suspension for driving under the influence of drugs as well as had his vehicle seized.

Driving impaired, whether by alcohol, drugs fatigue or distraction imposes enormous costs on our society. Families, the health care system, the legal system, insurance companies and the general public all pay the price for impaired drivers. If you drive impaired, your luck will run out - you will get caught. Even worse, you may be involved in a severe collision that harms someone you love.

Following the impaired driving checkstop, another checkstop was set up in the Town of Vegreville where (5) charges were laid for drivers failing to wear seatbelts and (5) charges for operating a motor vehicle with window tint. 

St. Albert RCMP Inspector Accepts ALS Challenge

St. Albert RCMP

Inspector Kevin Murray, Detachment Commander for St. Albert RCMP, accepted the ALS Ice Dunking Challenge from another RCMP officer in Grande Prairie Detachment. Dunking Inspector Murray are Cst. Hillier, Cst. Bulger and Cst. Nezami. Inspector Murray challenged Mayor Crouse, Rob Chaisson from McDonald's and Stu Salkald from the St. Albert Gazette to also do the Ice Challenge. Donations to ALS can be made on line to support this worthy cause.

Fuel theft near Rocky Mtn. House

Rocky Mountain House RCMP are investigating the theft of a quantity of fuel from Willesden Green Compressor area which occurred between August 17th and August 19th.. The location is approximately 8 Kms north of highway 12 on Beaver Flats Road. Culprits are believed to have used a truck and trailer to remove more then 3000 litres of fuel.

Lost engagement ring in Hinton

Hinton RCMP received a complaint on August 13th 2014 of a lost 10-year wedding anniversary ring. The ring is a Peoples Jewellers' product of yellow gold, three diamond stones and an inner engraving of “past/present/future”. The ring also features three hearts in a setting that hold up the diamonds, and smaller diamonds running down the side. The ring was believed to have been lost outside the Hinton Travel Centre on Gregg Avenue between August 9th and August 13th 2014. and has a $2000.00 value.

Anyone with any information on this or other investigations is asked to contact the Hinton RCMP at 780-865-2455 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted online at

St. Albert RCMP officers receive lacrosse lessons

St. Albert RCMP

Young Blaize gives RCMP officer a lesson
On Thursday evening, August 21, 2014, while patrolling through St. Albert's Lions Park, RCMP officers met a group of lacrosse players celebrating the end to their year of play. One player lent his stick to a RCMP officer who got a quick lesson from Blaize, a 3 year old lacrosse enthusiast.

Suspicious fire in Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin RCMP

On August 22, 2014, shortly after 3:00 a.m., Wetaskiwin City Fire Department and Wetaskiwin RCMP responded to the Parkview RV Centre located on the 5000 block of 57 street for a report of several recreational vehicles on fire. A total of 4 recreational vehicles, including 3 travel trailers and 1 motor boat were damaged, 3 extensively. Fire Investigators have determined the fire to be suspicious. The fire is believed to have started between the hours of 2:30 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.

Early morning homicide in Calgary

Calgary Police Service

The Calgary Police Service is investigating an early morning shooting incident that has left one person dead. At approximately 3 am this morning, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, police were called to 11 Avenue and 1 Street SW for reports of gunfire.

Upon arrival, officers found a female suffering from a gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead on scene. The victim is believed to be in her mid-twenties.

At this point in the investigation, the incident does not appear to be targeted and the victim appears to be an innocent bystander.

The Homicide Unit continues to speak to witnesses.

Edmonton pharmacy robberies suspect charged

The Edmonton Police Service has charged a suspect in connection with two violent pharmacy robberies in southwest Edmonton.

At approximately 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, it was reported that a disguised male entered a pharmacy in the area of 170 Street and 69 Avenue. The male allegedly produced a weapon and demanded narcotics from staff members working in the pharmacy. After obtaining an undisclosed amount of narcotics, the male allegedly ran from the store to a waiting vehicle and fled the scene.

Information about the vehicle was reported to police by a citizen. At approximately 1 p.m., officers subsequently located the vehicle and suspect at a residence in the area of 190A Street and 55 Avenue.

Investigators have also charged the accused in connection with a pharmacy robbery that occurred on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. It was reported that a disguised male entered a pharmacy in the area of 178 Street and 98A Avenue at approximately 6 p.m. The male allegedly produced a weapon and demanded narcotics from staff members before fleeing the scene.

Lowen Diehl, 30, was arrested and charged with robbery (x3), possession of a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence (x2), being disguised in the commission of an indictable offence (x2), and breach of recognizance (x2).

Windermere condo arson suspect(s) sought

Edmonton Police Service Arson Section
investigators are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect(s) responsible for a March 15, 2014 condo development in the Southwest neighbourhood of Windermere.

It’s been almost six months since firefighters and police responded to a Cove Properties condo development engulfed in flames, near 10 Avenue and 172 Street. The fire, which has since been classified as an arson, caused an estimated $6M in damages to the condo development and nearby residences.

Arson investigators are releasing video footage today, which was shot above the scene of the fire by EPS Air 1 that evening.

“We’ve been hard at this investigation for several months now, and we believe there may be more than one suspect involved,” said Staff Sgt. Terry Innes, of the EPS Arson Section. “We’re hopeful that a member of the public, who might see this video footage, may come forward with information regarding suspects and will contact police or Crime Stoppers and make an anonymous tip.”

Anyone with information about this arson, potential suspects or vehicles that were seen at the scene of the fire in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 15, 2014, is urged to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at

Action Coalition on Human Trafficking Alberta receives federal funding

Department of Justice Canada

On August 22, 2014 Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced $318,745 in funding for the Action Coalition on Human Trafficking Alberta (ACT Alberta) to help the organization continue to provide a variety of services to victims of crime. Minister MacKay was joined by Laurie Hawn, MP for Edmonton Centre.

Part of the funding will be used by the organization for a pilot project that will support dedicated part-time case coordinators in both Edmonton and Calgary. Staff will coordinate services for victims of human trafficking and will collect and analyze data and processes. This project will also inform the development of training materials and community-based protocols on how to best assist victims of human trafficking.

ACT Alberta has also received a Time-Limited Operational Funding grant available through the Department of Justice Canada's Victims Fund. The grant is intended to help non-government victim-serving organizations by covering operating expenses such as staff payroll, office space rental, and limited capital expenditures.

This funding announcement aligns with the Government's Plan for Safe Streets and Communities, one of four priorities identified by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in January 2013. It also responds to the Government's Speech from the Throne 2013 commitment to introduce measures that will increase support for victims of crime.

The funding will be provided as follows:

Pilot project for dedicated part-time case coordinators in Edmonton and Calgary
2013 2014 - $25,000
2014 2015 - $87,915
2015 2016 - $125,830
Total: $238,745

Time-Limited Operational Funding
2014 2015 - $40,000
2015 2016 - $40,000
Total: $80,000

The funding is being provided through the Department of Justice Canada's Victims Fund. The Victims Fund provides grants and contributions to support projects and activities that encourage the development of new approaches, promote access to justice, improve the capacity of service providers, foster the establishment of referral networks, or increase awareness of services available to victims of crime and their families.

"Protecting those who are most vulnerable from exploitation by human traffickers is a priority of our Government. This commitment includes ensuring that there are not only strong penalties in place to punish those who exploit and abuse others, but also that we are providing support to organizations like ACT Alberta that have dedicated themselves to addressing the needs of victims of this heinous crime. This is a complex issue that we can only address by working with partners across the country. We wish ACT Alberta continued success as they take important steps to help individuals on their journey to healing. " - Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
"Our Government is proud to support groups like ACT Alberta, which respond to those who have been victims of human trafficking, a violation of their basic human rights. ACT Alberta's dedication to serving victims of human trafficking and providing input and advice to law enforcement, government agencies and non-governmental organizations is admirable. Together, we will put an end to human trafficking and continue to advocate for putting victims first." - Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, Laurie Hawn

"Victims of human trafficking have very complex needs, which may include immigration, legal, health, housing and other concerns. This funding allows us to coordinate services for victims and ensure people do not fall between the cracks. We bring together service providers and identify ways for community responses to be streamlined and collaborative. It takes a whole community to reach and assist our society's most vulnerable and exploited." - Andrea Burkhart, Executive Director, ACT Alberta

Federal Victims Strategy and Victims Fund

Government of Canada

The Federal Victims Strategy was created in 2007 and made permanent in 2011. The objective of the Strategy, which is led by the Department of Justice Canada, is to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. The Department of Justice works in close collaboration with other federal institutions, as well as victims, victim advocates, provincial and territorial governments, service providers, and others involved in the criminal justice system. The Department of Justice develops policy and criminal law reform, funds various programs to meet the needs of victims of crime, explores best practices to address victims' needs, and raises awareness about the concerns of victims of crime and their role in the criminal justice system.

Within the Federal Victims Strategy, the Victims Fund is a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice. Funds are available each year to provinces, territories and non-governmental organizations whose projects, activities and operations support the objectives of the Federal Victims Strategy.

The Victims Fund provides funding to projects and activities that:
  • Enhance victim assistance programs across Canada;
  • Promote access to justice and participation in the justice system and the development of laws, policies, and programs;
  • Promote the implementation of principles, guidelines, and laws designed to address the needs of victims of crime and articulate their role in the criminal justice system;
  • Contribute to increased knowledge and awareness of the impact of victimization, the needs of victims of crime, available services, assistance and programs, and legislation; and
  • Promote, encourage and/or enhance governmental and non-governmental organizations' involvement in the identification of victims' needs and gaps in services, as well as in the development and delivery of programs, services and assistance to victims, including capacity building within non-governmental organizations.
More information is available on the Department of Justice Canada's website.

Civil Forfeiture Fund helps Calgary kids

Government of Alberta

Anti-crime programs that focus on gangs, bullying, drugs and internet safety will help young people in Alberta sort facts from fiction.

The most recent Civil Forfeiture Fund (CFF) grants support 15 projects throughout Alberta including a grant to the YouthLink Interpretive Centre for $500,000 over two years.

The YouthLink Interpretive Centre is an interactive facility that supports youths by strengthening their knowledge of the tough issues, so they can make informed choices going into junior high school.
“The Civil Forfeiture Fund grants turn “bad” money into good. This grant to the YouthLink Interpretive Centre puts the proceeds of crime back into the community to prevent crime, support victims and keep our youth safe.” - Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
“YouthLink Calgary Police Interpretive Centre will give kids the opportunity to change their lives. It will focus on youth education, crime prevention, and intervention so that young people are engaged and empowered to make good decisions and keep away from crime and victimization down the road.” - Rick Hanson, Chief, Calgary Police Service
CFF grants support community initiatives aimed at children, youth, and families at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity, including gang involvement and those at-risk of being a victim of crime. A total of $2.8 million in grants support community crime prevention and victims’ services projects.

Through the Civil Forfeiture Office, property obtained by criminal acts, or used in committing crime, is seized and if the court action is successful, forfeiture is ordered. Examples of forfeited property include vehicles used to commit crime, drug houses, and cash.

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