(Press release issued by Unity SK RCMP December 30, 2014. Photos also provided by RCMP. See the January 12, 2015 edition of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald for additional photos and the print version of this story.)
The Unity SK RCMP Detachment began a series of auto theft investigations November 24, 2014, after a Denzil area man discovered a number of vehicles in his yard and some unknown males on his property looking in outbuildings. The man confronted the males and, as they were leaving the property, he was struck by one of the vehicles.
Unity RCMP located the vehicles in the Evesham district minutes later and the subjects fled. It was learned the vehicles headed through Unity where a 2014 Chevrolet “Duck Commander” edition truck was stolen, but not reported until morning. The trucks were located minutes later enroute to Red Pheasant Cree Nation where the stolen vehicles fled the responding Battlefords RCMP members. One of the trucks stolen that night, a black Dodge 4×4 was abandoned by the subjects who fled the vehicle.
Since that time, Unity RCMP has been assisting Battlefords RCMP in the investigation of the auto thefts. Members of the Unity/Wilkie/Macklin RCMP have made patrols of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation and have recovered numerous vehicles that were reported stolen from: Maidstone, Biggar, Unity, Provost Alberta, North Battleford and Cut Knife, as well as a finding a stolen snowmobile and trailer from the Battlefords.
The Unity RCMP have used snowmobiles to locate many of the vehicles that have been recovered in varying condition from the secluded areas of Red Pheasant Cree Nations.
Efforts are being made to recover those vehicles with salvage value higher than the cost of recovery. As the pictures show, many of the vehicles have been stripped of their wheels, and various drive-line parts which it is believed have been sold by the thieves.
The RCMP have made some arrests in relation to the possession of some of the stolen vehicles, but the matter remains under investigation at this time. Several of the subjects involved in the thefts have been determined to be young offenders, and their names will not be published due to this fact.
During this time there have been other thefts in the community as a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu were stolen from the Macklin area and used in a number of mischiefs before being burnt near Macklin and Provost respectively.
Investigation and the assistance of witnesses in the area have resulted in the formal charges of three males from Macklin. Charged in relation to the thefts are Mitch Mitchell, Quinton Banfield and Brandon Gette. Mitchell was held in for court December 29, 2014 in North Battleford, Gette and Banfield are to be in court in Unity later this month.
The Unity RCMP would like to remind vehicle owners not to leave valuables in their vehicles, especially firearms, and to lock their doors and remove their keys, even when the vehicle is parked inside.
Persons with information about crimes being committed in the Unity/Wilkie/Macklin areas are urged to call the Unity RCMP detachment at 306-228-6300; the Wilkie RCMP at 306-843-3480; or the Macklin RCMP at 306-753-2171. If you wish to remain anonymous, you may also call Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or *8477 on the SaskTel Mobility Network. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $2,000 for information which leads to the arrest of person(s) responsible for any serious crime. Crime Stoppers is anonymous and does not subscribe to call display, nor are your calls traced or recorded.
You can also submit a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com.
Additional photos from RCMP files regarding these investigations: