UPDATE: Police are no longer looking for information on the owner or driver of the white truck witnessed at Stettler businesses in the early morning. The actions of the driver have been proven to be legitimate and not suspicious. Police thank the public for the information that led to a quick resolution.
ORIGINAL STORY: Police are asking the public to keep their eyes peeled after concerned citizens noticed a suspicious vehicle frequenting Stettler businesses in the early morning hours for three consecutive days up to Jan. 2.
The early-2000s model white truck is believed to be either a Chevrolet or GMC truck, Stettler RCMP Cpl. Cameron Russell said.
“This vehicle has been spotted the past three mornings, around 6 a.m.,” Russell said on Monday, Jan. 4. “It’s believed (the occupants of the truck) have been interrupted” in the commission of crimes.
Anyone who may have information about the vehicle or the owners are asked to phone the RCMP at 403-742-3382, or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Duck’n’Runner caught hiding under RVA 27-year-old Stettler man, Jonathan Martin, is behind bars after being caught fleeing from police and driving with a suspended licence on Dec. 20, though police were on hunt for the fellow for several weeks prior to the arrest.
Russell explained that, in the weeks leading up to the arrest, RCMP would come across a green, four-door sedan. When the driver would see police, he would turn off his vehicle’s lights and flee, usually to the outlying rural areas. On Dec. 20, police were able to prevent his flight into the rural area and caught up to the vehicle, which ended up in the ditch while trying to avoid the cruiser driven by Russell.
When police arrived at the vehicle, they found a 17-year-old Stettler girl inside, who was a passenger in the vehicle. She informed police the driver had fled. The K9 unit was called in to help track the fleeing driver, as was the air unit, who Russell said was already in the area.
However, neither were needed as the area was covered in fresh snow and police tracked the driver, finding him hiding under an RV.
He was charged with three counts of flight from police, and one count each of driving while disqualified and dangerous driving.
Martin first lost his licence after being involved in a May 2015 collision at the intersection of Highway 12 and Stewartwyn Road west of Stettler, in which he was found to be driving a stolen vehicle. In July, he was caught driving a different stolen vehicle and was arrested again. In both cases, Martin spent some time in jail after pleading guilty.
Message not getting through: PoliceChristmas and New Year’s went rather uneventfully for police, but a charge of impaired driving and a 72-hour licence suspension on New Year’s eve and morning means the message about impaired driving isn’t getting through, Russell said.
“And these are the ones we caught,” he stressed.
With taxi service, friends, family and designated drivers available, there’s no excuse for driving home impaired, Russell said, adding that people who are going out to celebrate holidays and other special events should take some time beforehand to make arrangements if they’re going to be drinking.
Full staffing levelsThe Stettler RCMP detachment is starting 2016 with full staffing levels, with a sergeant, two corporals, and eight constables. A new constable will be arriving in the coming weeks to augment the detachment’s workforce. The detachment is also home base for the area’s Traffic Unit, which has a corporal and two constables, including the only female constable working in the detachment at this time, Russell said.
“There are definitely times when a female constable is preferable,” Russell said, noting that the assignment of constables is both luck of the draw and based on applications.