282 charges is a staggering number to share but that's exactly how many Airdrie Rural RCMP have laid against two people from Calgary and one from Edmonton after they received a complaint about a suspicious van on Wednesday (June 27) morning.  

Around 8:00 am the RCMP responded to a complaint of a suspicious U-Haul van parked along Big Hill Springs Road, just west of Range Road 13 outside Airdrie.  The caller believed that the occupants of the van might have been casing out his property.

Constable Dan Martin said, when officers arrived at the scene, the three occupants were indeed doing something suspicious.

"The occupants of the van, there were two females and one male, they were in the act of trying to remove the U-Haul decals from outside of the van, so immediately quite suspicious.  The officer attending also noted a bunch of mail strewn around the van and some break-in tools."

Martin says the suspects were arrested without incident.  It was quickly determined that the U-Haul had been stolen as well and a search of the vehicle found a plethora of items including many break-in tools, stolen mail, stolen identity cards including driver's licenses and health ID cards.  A typewriter,  equipment that could be used to forge documents and numerous cheques were also found inside the van.

Martin says the suspects, a 29-year-old male and 23-year-old female from Calgary, and a 19-year-old female from Edmonton, are still in custody awaiting an appearance before a Justice of the Peace.  They've been charged with 94 counts each, including, Martin said, "Possession of stolen property, both over $5,000 and under $5,000, uttering forged documents, possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of a firearm in a vehicle, theft of mail, and possession of break-in instruments to name just a few."

Martin said the arrests have helped the RCMP solve over 40 crimes that were committed in Rocky View County, Airdrie, Calgary, Chestermere, Okotoks, and Cochrane.  He said they're also hoping to link the suspects to mail thefts in the area.  Martin credits the call from the citizen who first noticed the suspicious van.

"This is a perfect example of the community working with the police to fight crime."  


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