On Thursday, December 16, 2021, the Southern Alberta Crime Reduction Unit (SACRU) were investigating copper wire thefts from oil lease sites in the Three Hills and Hanna, Alta. area.
SACRU observed a male and female, both known to police, enter an oil lease site east of Three Hills around noon on December 16. When a covert police vehicle approached, both subjects fled back to their vehicle and left the lease site.
SACRU attended the lease site and confirmed copper wires had been cut and removed from the site, with some wire being left behind. The damage to the lease site was approximately $7,000.
At approximately 2:30 p.m., Three Hills RCMP attempted a traffic stop with the suspects who were travelling on Hwy 9 near Beiseker with the intention of arresting the two individuals. The female suspect who was driving pulled over, however when the officer approached, the suspect vehicle sped off.
On December 17, SACRU arrested Tyree Ewing, 23, of Three Hills, and Wanda Charlton, 51, of Hanna at a wire recycling business in the area of 43 Avenue S.E., and Hastings Crescent S.E., in Calgary, attempting to sell copper wire.
The investigation revealed Ewing was a recent contest winner at the business where the contestant's name would be entered in a draw for hockey tickets for bringing in 100 lbs of insulated wire.
Ewing and Charlton are jointly charged with theft not exceeding $5,000; flight from Police; trafficking property obtained by crime; mischief exceeding $5,000; possession of break-in tools.
Ewing is further charged with failing to comply with a release order; unlawfully possessing methamphetamine; and unlawfully possessing Fentanyl.
Both Ewing and Charlton were released from custody and are next scheduled to appear in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, February 18.
As these matters are now before the courts, no further details can be provided.