The Redwater RCMP unconventionally caught a couple of suspects last month.
In early March, a report came in about two suspicious men in a red Honda CRV trespassing on a rural property near Township Road 581 and Highway 28. When the men noticed the homeowner, they tried to reverse out of the driveway but got stuck in the snow.
They then went up to the homeowner and said they were lost and looking for directions to Bon Accord.
When police arrived, they found the pair trying to dig the vehicle out. Officers got their names and learned that neither of the men was allowed to drive. They also weren't allowed to possess guns due to release order conditions. However, police found three rifles and a significant amount of ammunition in the CRV.
By looking into some of the other items in the vehicle, including a wildlife certificate and Amazon package, Mounties got in contact with a couple from Smoky Lake who was able to confirm the rifles and the numerous items like instruments, a bale hydrometer and power tools, had all been stolen from them.
Police also managed to contact the owner of the CRV, who confirmed their vehicle had been stolen a few days prior.
Aaron Patenaude, 33, and Jason Blyan, 34, of Edmonton, were arrested. They were jointly charged with:
- Possession of property obtained by crime x2
- Possessing firearms in a vehicle x3
- Possessing stolen firearms x3
- Unsafe storage of firearms x3
- Transporting alcohol in a vehicle within reach of occupants
In addition, Patenaude was charged with failing to comply with his release order, possessing a prohibited weapon, possessing a firearm without a license, driving unauthorized and driving an uninsured vehicle on the highway.
Blyan was solely charged with nine counts of possessing a firearm and ammunition while prohibited.
According to the Redwater RCMP, there were a few similar incidents throughout the month, with suspects getting stuck in the snow and then arrested by police.