Submitted by Cst. Holly Porterfield
A scary incident for two separate drivers started shortly after 9:00 p.m. last night.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. on March 6, 2017, the Wetaskiwin RCMP were called by a woman in her 60’s after a young aboriginal male had attempted to steal her vehicle. The woman had been sitting in her vehicle with her grandson near her residence on 47 Avenue near 54 Street, when the vehicle was approached on the passenger’s side.
The grandson thought he knew the man approaching the vehicle and rolled down the window to speak with him. The man pulled out a can of bear spray and told them to get out of the vehicle. The grandson rolled up the window and they drove off. The pair returned to the area a short time later. When the grandson went to check the house, the suspect returned and opened the driver side door. The suspect produced a knife and threatened the woman driver, demanding she get out of the vehicle. She stepped on the gas, drove off, and called police.
While police were responding to this call, a second similar call came in from an employee at the No Frills grocery store a few blocks away.
Police attended the scene and spoke to a 38-year-old man who had been sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot when the suspect approached the driver side door and said he’d been beaten up and needed help. The Suspect then opened the driver’s door and threatened the man with a knife. In the ensuing altercation the victim was sprayed three times, threatened with a knife, but able to remove the keys and exit the vehicle. Store employees came to his assistance.
The suspect ran off but was seen getting into a vehicle. Police responded quickly to the area, within a short time police located the suspect and he was arrested without incident.
Police arrested three people in relation to the two incidents. There appears to be no relation between those arrested and the victims and the relationship between the three individuals arrested is unknown at this time. Each of the three individuals arrested have a history with police. The main suspect is a young offender.
“This was a scary incident for everyone involved, and we are thankful that no one was seriously injured,” said Inspector Fran Bethell, Detachment commander of the Wetaskiwin RCMP, “Our members took action and were able to quickly apprehend the suspects to prevent any further incidents.”
Police are still gathering evidence and speaking to witnesses. As this investigation is currently ongoing charges have not yet been laid.