Two men apprehended last April by the newly formed Rural Crime Reduction Project walked out of court free men after a witness failed to show.
Lyle Robert Vance appeared as a prisoner in Stettler provincial court Jan. 10. His co-accused Lyle Alden Anderson appeared but wasn’t a prisoner.
Vance was charged with unlawful confinement, robbery with a firearm, possession of a prohibited weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, failing to stop for police, resisting arrest, unlawfully being in a dwelling, possession of stolen property, possession of break-in tools, driving while disqualified, careless driving, driving without insurance and breach of probation.
Anderson was charged with intimidation through threats, unlawfully in a dwelling, possession of a weapon and breach of probation.
Vance and Anderson were arrested by Bashaw RCMP last April.
RCMP Rural Crime Reduction Project and Blackfalds RCMP started several investigations in the tiny hamlet of Mirror, northeast of Red Deer, in January 2018.
Blackfalds RCMP investigated a break-and-enter and assault incident at a hotel in Red Deer’s Gasoline Alley Jan. 31, 2018. Vance was charged in connection with this incident and a warrant for his arrest was issued.
On Feb. 24, 2018, Bashaw RCMP started investigating three robberies against persons and both Anderson and Vance were charged with 21 offences.
RCMP say the two were also involved in a flight from police incident in Sylvan Lake on Feb. 22, 2018. The two were charged and arrest warrants issued.
On April 16, 2018, Ponoka RCMP arrested Anderson without incident.
On April 25, 2018, Red Deer RCMP responded to a call about a possible kidnapping from a carjacking incident after a woman was assaulted and her van stolen. All parties involved were known to each other, according to police.
The same day, as a result of the RCMP’s intelligence gathering, the Rural Crime Reduction Project members and Bashaw RCMP arrested Vance in Mirror without incident.
The preliminary hearing didn’t proceed Jan. 10, 2019, and Crown prosecutor Bruce Ritter told the court he was staying the charges.
Vance and Anderson smiled and nodded at each other.
Judge Gordon Yake accepted the Crown’s submissions and all charges were dropped against the pair and Vance was released from jail.