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Calgary pair charged in spree of golf course break-ins throughout southern Alberta


Two people are facing an extensive list of charges connected to a violent incident near Carstairs, Alta., last week, and a string of break-ins at golf courses throughout southern Alberta.

On Feb. 9, RCMP was dispatched to a break-and-enter in progress at the Silver Willow Farm Sporting Club, located in Mountain View County just west of Carstairs, around 5 a.m.

In a news release Monday, police said a representative of the property phoned in the break-in after they were alerted that two suspects were at the business by an on-site security system.

The caller drove to the business and saw two suspects attempting to flee the scene in a Volkswagen hatchback car.

After the vehicle became stuck, police said a male suspect got out of the car and ran toward the caller with a long-barreled gun. The suspect then shot at the caller, striking their vehicle.

“He was very shaken up obviously, by notwithstanding having these people on his property, but to be engaged in the way he was and ending up having to avoid being shot was extremely troubling,” said Staff Sgt. Stephen Browne, Didsbury detachment commander.

“The level of violence the suspects were willing to use to evade apprehensions is, always concerning.”

RCMP responded to the scene and placed the area under a shelter-in-place.

Two suspects were taken into custody shortly after.

Kyle Nechiporenko, 37, of Calgary, was charged with attempted murder and several firearm-related offences.

Soleil Wenas, 20, also of Calgary, was charged with possession of a firearm without holding a licence and failing to comply with a release order.

Both were charged with seven additional offences relating to break-and-enters, weapons, theft and mischief.

Carstairs is located approximately 65 kilometres north of Calgary.

Golf course break-ins

As part of a second news release on Monday, RCMP said Nechiporenko and Wenas were also charged in connection with a spree of break-and-enters at golf courses and other businesses throughout January and February.

Multiple RCMP detachments had been investigating the break-ins, but the Cochrane crime reduction unit was assigned to the investigation on Jan. 30.

“Certainly was targeted. Most of these break-and-enters were to golf courses,” said Cpl. Kyle Ashe, with Cochrane RCMP’s crime reduction unit.

“Not too sure why exactly, but it was definitely a pattern that we picked up on.”

Ashe added that the golf courses sustained damages and theft of various items.

“Mostly cash but also electronics like point of sales equipment, laptops, lottery tickets, cigarettes, things of that nature,” he said.

On Feb. 9, officers executed a search warrant at a northwest Calgary residence. A woman was arrested and stolen property was seized, including laptops, motorcycles, firearms, IDs and ID counterfeiting equipment, tools, bikes, safes and golf accessories.

RCMP said evidence seized linked three suspects to break-and-enters at the following locations:

  • Silver Willow Sporting Club in Mountain View County;
  • Cottonwood Golf & Country Club in Foothills County;
  • Sirocco Golf Course in Foothills County;
  • Redwood Meadows Golf Course in Tsuut’ina;
  • Priddis Greens Golf Course in Foothills County;
  • River Spirit Golf Course in Calgary;
  • Winter Green Golf Course in Rocky View County;
  • Water Valley Saloon in Water Valley;
  • Serenity Golf Club in Rocky View County;
  • Kananaskis Country Golf Course in Kananaskis; and
  • Livingstone Golf Course in Rocky View County.

The Winter Green Golf Course in Rocky View County had their ATM broken into and some office equipment stolen. (Courtesy: Alf Beaudry)

Wintergreen Golf and Country Club golf course manager Alf Beaudry said damage was done to windows and doors, but the thieves also ransacked an ATM.

“They went through the entire building, through the pro shop and a lot of the offices, they left laptops, radios,” said Beaudry.

“It looked like they're just going for cash or maybe something untraceable.”

He added that with two of the alleged suspects linked to the incident in Carstairs, he’s thankful no staff were harmed at the course.

“I don't instruct anyone to enter the building,” said Beaudry.

“Then at 6 a.m. when we are all kind of here together, (we will) but by that point, it was safe.”

Between the incident in Didsbury and the other break-and-enters, Nechiporenko is facing 29 charges, while Wenas is facing 16.

After interim release hearings, both were remanded and are scheduled to appear in court in Didsbury on Feb. 12.

The third suspect, whom RCMP did not name, was charged with break-and-enter and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000. She was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear in court in Cochrane on March 12. Top Stories

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