A robbery of copper wire from Bagshaw Electric early in the morning of Monday, June 29 was foiled when the owner interrupted the suspect in the act and called police.
The man fled on foot, leaving behind his vehicle, which is registered to a Rodney Makranoff.
Makranoff, who is already wanted on an outstanding warrant, is believed to still be in the area, Stettler RCMP Const. Bill Lewadniuk said.
Makranoff’s warrant stems from convictions on charges of careless use of a firearm, possession of ammunition while prohibited, and possession of a firearm without a licence. Convicted, Makranoff was sentenced to a 30-day intermittent sentence, to be served on weekends at the Red Deer Remand Centre. He did not appear for his first weekend in jail, a warrant for being unlawfully at large was issued.
Lewadniuk noted that Makranoff has had several run-ins with the law and, given his past with firearms, should be considered armed and dangerous and not be approached.
Later that morning, a silver 2006 Dodge caravan, Alberta licence plate URP 173, was stolen from Stettler.
Lawlor victim of AM smash’n’grab
An undisclosed number of watches were stolen from Lawlor Jewelers in Stettler early on Thursday, June 25.
An unknown individual broke into the Main Street store around 3:45 a.m., smashed the display cases, took the watched and fled, Lewadniuk said. “Police just missed” the culprit, he said.
Police have surveillance videos from the break and enter and are reviewing it to see if the suspect can be identified.
Grandparent scam making rounds
Lewadniuk has received several complaints in the past month about the grandparent scam, where someone calls impersonating a family member in financial peril, quite often a grandchild who has been arrested in another province or country and needs bail money.
The scammer relies on the elderly individual’s lack of Internet knowledge, potential for decreased mental acuity and love for their family member to defraud them of money, which the scammer will claim is needed immediately, with no time to spare.
The pressure tactic is used to prevent the victim from phoning other family members to ensure the phone call is true, Lewadniuk explained.
If receiving a call like this, Lewadniuk said people should report it to police. “The RCMP – or any police service – will never ask for money over the phone,” Lewadniuk explained.
In fact, bail money has to be paid to a court clerk at a court house, not by cheque or money order through the mail.
When in doubt, an individual should contact family to ensure the person is actually in trouble. A quick call to family usually verifies that the supposed victim is not in any trouble at all.