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RCMP arrest copper theft suspects

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On January 28 at approximately 9:30 a.m., Drumheller RCMP were notified by Brooks RCMP of a suspect pickup truck, travelling north on Highway 36 near Duchess; the occupants of the vehicle were believed to be responsible for the theft of copper wire from oil sites.
At approximately 11 a.m., a member of the Drumheller Rural Traffic Unit observed the suspect vehicle on Highway 848 near Dorothy and conducted a traffic stop. Three suspects were arrested and taken into custody. The suspect vehicle was searched and found to contain large amounts of copper wire and contraband cigarettes.
Matthew Johnson, 43, and Melanie Jones, 42, both residents of Calgary, and Domingos Dacunha, 56, a resident of Wheatland County, were each charged with possession of property obtained by crime less than $5,000 and possession of contraband cigarettes.
Johnson was further charged with possession of property obtained by crime less than $5,000 and obstruction of a peace officer.
Jones and Dacunha were released from custody on undertakings and are to appear in the Alberta Court of Justice in Drumheller on March 22.
Johnson was also found to be on six outstanding arrest warrants. His next court appearance is set for Feb. 1, 2024, at the Alberta Court of Justice in Siksika.
“Effective communication and teamwork between Drumheller and Brooks RCMP led to the successful apprehension of these copper thieves, “says Staff Sergeant Robert Harms of the Drumheller RCMP,,” Copper wire theft is a serious issue both in the loss of the wire, damages to property and poses serious safety risks.


Munson wraps up road projects

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The Village of Munson is approaching the new year with optimism, as the community continues to thrive. The Mail caught up with Munson CAO Lyle Cawiezel. He said it was a busy year for the village.

“We completed some much overdue road work, and were able to knock off quite a bit of the projects that we have delayed for a few years, while we build up grant funds,” said Cawiezel.

 

The road work consisted of applying a sealing product on a couple of main roads in town as well as the entry road from Highway 9/56. “That road hasn’t been touched since back in the day when Alberta Transportation put a bend in the road and paved it,” he said.

This coming year the village is working on replacing the playground and hopes he can begin installation in July. This is to replace the aging playground. They are able to finance much of the playground from the same grant pool as the paving as it came in under budget.

 

“The playground was put in before my time and I have been here nearly 20 years,” he said. While it might be a little cold for jungle gyms, youngsters still have the opportunity for outdoor activities thanks to the strong volunteer spirit that maintains the village’s skating rink. Community organizations are also responsible for many of the year’s family and community events.

 

Due to its infrastructure limits, the village is constrained in growth. Despite this, he says the demand for housing in Munson is strong. “We have a few properties that are looking at getting developed, so we could have a few more residents coming to town. The market still seems to be quite strong for it,” said Cawiezel. “When they were listed, they were sold rather quickly.” He adds that most vacancies are snapped up quickly with new residents from all over.

 

“In 2022 and 2023, there were a few out-of-province people that moved in so it is a good mix,” he said.

RCMP charge suspect after confrontation with police

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At approximately 11:30 a.m. on January 25, 2024, Drumheller RCMP responded to a report of four persons attempting to purchase several goods at a store in Nacmine Alberta, possibly in a fraudulent manner.
Drumheller RCMP arrived in short order and soon arrested a male suspect for Obstruction after false identification was provided. During the arrest, a physical confrontation between the suspect and the officer ensued resulting in the officer receiving minor injuries.
The suspect fled the area in a 2004 white Audi A4 SUV. While fleeing, the suspect drove erratically,nearly striking a pedestrian. For public safety reasons, police did not initiate a vehicle pursuit; however, did engage multiple RCMP Detachments, RCMP support units, and Calgary Police Service.
At approximately 2:30 p.m., as the result of a multi-agency coordinated effort, Calgary Police Service arrested the suspect in N.E. Calgary without further incident.
Rommel Togado, 33, Calgary, was charged with obstruction of a peace officer, assault of a peace officer, dangerous operation of a conveyance, fail to comply with a release order, possess and produce identity document in others' name, and operate motor vehicle while unauthorized.
Togado was remanded into custody and appeared in the Alberta Court of Justice in Didsbury on January 31st.
Togado remains in custody andis scheduled for court in Didsbury on February 5.
Drumheller RCMP continues to investigate this matter including the involvement of the other 3 persons.
If you have any information regarding this matter or other criminal activity, please contact Drumheller RCMP at 403.823.7590 or contact your local Police Service. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.


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