Airdrie man charged in connection with Highway 1 hit-and-run, armed liquor store robberies
Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017 2:06PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:44PM MDT
A 27-year-old man from Airdrie faces a total of 20 charges in connection with the RCMP investigation into five recent armed robberies as well as a hit-and-run on the TransCanada Highway that left a scooter rider suffering from serious injuries.
Between May 8 and May 14, businesses in Olds, Cochrane, Airdrie and Carstairs were robbed at knifepoint with the offender fleeing with undisclosed amounts of cash and liquor. Surveillance camera footage and witness statements led investigators to conclude that one person was responsible for all five robberies.
“The level of violence involved in all of these robberies was quite concerning,”said Cpl. Curtis Peters of the RCMP. “There was a weapon involved in all five robberies and a pretty significant amount of violence where there was some interactions and altercations taking place between the robber and the people that are working in the stores.”
Nearly an hour after Sunday night’s robbery at a liquor store in Carstairs, Strathmore RCMP responded to a location on the TransCanada Highway near Range Road 274, west of Strathmore, following a crash involving a Subaru car and a motorcycle.
The operator of the scooter, an adult male, was airlifted to the Foothills Medical Centre with injuries considered to be of a serious nature. The rider was later determined to be Piotr Glowacki, a citizen of Poland, who was in the midst of an attempt to circle the globe on a 50cc scooter. Glowacki suffered three breaks to his leg and significant bruising.
The driver of the Subaru fled the crash scene on foot.
According to RCMP, the registered owner of the Subaru called police shortly after the time of the crash to report that his vehicle had been stolen from a location in Airdrie.
RCMP police dogs tracked the driver of the Subaru from the crash site through a field and arrested the man, 27-year-old Christopher Ferguson, who officers quickly determined was, in fact, the registered owner.
“We’ve since learned that the vehicle was never stolen and that it was done to just try to elude police,” said Cpl. Peters. “We believe, at the time of the collision, he was under the influence of alcohol.”
Inside the vehicle investigators located evidence connected to the robbery in Carstairs.
A search warrant was executed at Ferguson’s home in Airdrie and officers seized additional evidence related to the knifepoint robberies in Cochrane, Olds and Airdrie.
Ferguson was scheduled to make his first court appearance in Calgary Provincial Court on Wednesday in connection with charges that included:
- Robbery with an offensive weapon
- Assault with a weapon
- Failing to comply with probation conditions
- Impaired operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm
- Failing to remain at the scene of a collision
- Uttering threats
According to RCMP, the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected to be laid.