Stolen car investigation leads to 155 charges against 6 people
CALGARY — Six people are facing a combined 155 charges, and police have recovered 14 vehicles worth an estimated $250,000, following an investigation into stolen vehicles and armed carjackings.
The investigation began Oct. 21 when police were called to a single-vehicle collision in the 100 block of Harvest Oak Rise N.E. involving a stolen Audi S4.
Shortly after that collision, the driver of the Audi was picked up by a Mercedes, which had been stolen in Airdrie the day before in an armed carjacking.
A number of resourced were deployed to try and find the driver, including covert officers, the Auto Theft Team, Canine Unit, Tactical Unit, Prolific Offender Engagement Team, HAWCS and RCMP.
Just after midnight on Oct. 25, Calgary police and RCMP arrested five people outside a residence at Macleod Trail and Township Road 220, in De Winton, just south of Calgary.
Police seized a sawed-off 12-guage shotgun at the time and a sixth person was taken into custody later in the day.
Police say they have linked the group to 18 separate stolen vehicles in the Calgary area.
Most of those vehicles were stolen after being left running and unattended, or through garage break-and-enters.
Investigators have recovered 14 of the vehicles, worth an estimated $250,000.
Six people are now facing charges relating to stolen property, weapons and driving offences and failing to comply with release conditions, including:
- Justin Michael Ward, 28
- Kage Ragaisis, 20
- Kelton Lee Travis, 19
- Evelyn Sadie Clare, 18
- Casey Alan Cousins, 26
- Jesse Strongeagle, 24
Ragaisis is also facing five charges relating to the carjacking of the Mercedes, including robbery with a firearm and pointing a firearm.
"This case highlights the significant amount of resources and partnerships that go in to stolen vehicle investigations," said Staff Sgt. Graeme Smiley. "Criminals operate stolen vehicles with little to no regard for the safety of other citizens and are constantly crossing jurisdictional boundaries. We are thankful for our partners at the RCMP for their assistance with this investigation."
With colder temperatures now here, police are reminding people to:
- Never leave a running vehicle unattended
- Ensure vehicles parked inside garages are locked and that vehicle keys are kept in a secure place inside the residence
- Use a steering wheel lock to deter thieves
Suspicious activity should be reported to the Calgary police non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or 911 for crimes in progress.