Edmonton Journal

Crime spree, police chase end in charges against four suspects

- JASON HILLS

Four people are facing a series of charges that include auto theft and kidnapping after a crime spree in the area of Elk Point on Feb. 8.

According to a Tuesday afternoon release, at approximat­ely 3 p.m. Thursday Mounties in Elk Point were dispatched to a report of a theft of a motor vehicle and an alleged kidnapping.

An investigat­ion revealed that a man had been sleeping in the back seat of an SUV when it was stolen from a gas station in Elk Point.

The victim awoke to see a stranger driving the SUV and asked the driver to stop, but the driver refused. The victim was able to escape after the suspect slowed down in an attempt to change their direction of travel.

Upon further investigat­ion, police identified multiple other suspects assisted with the theft of the SUV.

A suspect's vehicle was located in Clandonald, 58 kilometres northeast of Vermilion. RCMP were able to arrest three suspects without incident.

At the same time, RCMP responded to a spree of break-ins in Derwent and a residence south of Beauvallon.

The stolen SUV drove through a shop in Derwent and a house in Beauvallon, nearly striking a resident. RCMP attempted to arrest a suspect at a residence, but the suspect was able to evade arrest.

Mounties continued to pursue the suspect, who was in the process of attempting to steal a pickup truck that was left running outside of a shop. Pursuing RCMP members were able to make contact with the stolen truck and disable it.

The suspect then entered the shop and stole a second pickup truck that had a utility trailer attached.

The suspect proceeded to ram police vehicles and escape through an exterior wall of the building. RCMP continued their pursuit of the stolen pickup until members of the St. Paul RCMP were able to deploy a tire deflation device and were successful in stopping the vehicle just north of Saddle Lake Cree Nation.

As a result of the investigat­ion, Cormac Arden Crawford, 26, of Bonnyville, Kiyanna Diamond Hunter, 25, of Saddle Lake and Brittany Gosselin-Redcrow, 18, of St. Paul have been charged with kidnapping and theft of a motor vehicle.

Preston Leo Halfe, 26, of Goodfish Lake has been charged with 22 offences, including six counts of theft of a motor vehicle, three counts of mischief over $5,000, two counts of break and enter to residence, mischief causing danger to life and kidnapping.

“The suspect was highly motivated to evade police custody and our members did everything possible to prevent the continuati­on of the offences, ensure public safety, and bring this series of events to a timely, safe conclusion,” said Sgt. Bobby Burgess of the St. Paul RCMP in a news release.

Four suspects were remanded into custody while Gosselin-Redcrow was released on conditions. The next court appearance for all four suspects is Feb. 15 in St. Paul.

Derwent is located 188 km northeast of Edmonton, while Beauvallon is located 160 km northeast of Edmonton.

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