By Miriam Ostermann, Associate Editor
The blade-slapping noise of the Calgary Police Service HAWCS helicopter could be heard in Strathmore last week, as the chopper, Calgary police and Strathmore RCMP worked together to stop and apprehend suspects connected to a violent incident in the City of Calgary.
Strathmore RCMP received a call from Calgary Police Services (CPS) around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 28, shortly after three suspects involved in violent, firearm-related offences were heading towards Strathmore in a stolen vehicle and driving dangerously.
The local authorities positioned themselves to intercept the vehicle through a traffic stop, which failed to stop the suspects. With the assistance of CPS and the CPS HAWCS helicopter, the vehicle was located on a rural road south of Strathmore. Following a minor collision between the stolen vehicle and an RCMP cruiser, all three suspects were apprehended and handed over to CPS for custody. No injuries were sustained from the collision.
“We’re quite fortunate to be close enough and be able to cooperate with an agency like Calgary police,” said Strathmore RCMP Cst. Denzil Morey.
“It benefits both sides. When you think about what an interruption it would be if Calgary had to totally halt at the jurisdiction border. It helps with continuation if we do have an open communication when things like that are unfolding. I think it benefits both agencies and both jurisdictions.”
Only 12 hours later, at 4:15 a.m. on Jan. 29, officers arrested a 35-year-old male and charged him with numerous firearm-related offences, and several charges of possession of property obtained by crime. The incident occurred after an RCMP officer initiated a traffic stop at the intersection of Highway 1 and Lakeside Blvd. The vehicle attracted the officer’s attention when no lights were lit up on the trailer.
Upon stopping, the lone occupant of the pick-up truck and attached trailer, which had been reported stolen out of High River, fled on foot and ran through industrial and residential areas to avoid authorities. By collaborating with the K Division Police Dog Services, the suspect was located a short time later and placed under arrest by the Strathmore RCMP.
“This is another example of our ongoing efforts to reduce crime in Alberta,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin O’Dwyer, with the Strathmore RCMP detachment.
Jonathon Bartram was remanded into custody and is facing 17 criminal charges after RCMP located two loaded sawed-off shot guns, a loaded semi-automatic pistol, and numerous other weapons. According to Morey, the individual has no known connection to gang activity.
“In regards to firearms, we do see it from time to time unfortunately, any time we see it is too often,” said Morey. “That’s part of the reason we’re out and about looking around. It’s part of the result of us being able to be looking for things rather than simply be reacting to things.”
Bartram faces 10 charges of Possession of Firearm Contrary to Prohibition Order, four charges of Failing to Comply with a Recognizance, two charges of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime – over $5,000, and one charge of Resisting a Peace Officer.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 20 in Strathmore.