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Crime

Edmonton Police warn public to be aware and vigilant after a series of violent carjackings

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The Edmonton Police Service is issuing a warning to citizens to be vigilant of their surroundings following a series of recent carjackings in southeast Edmonton.

On Monday, March 4, 2019, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Southeast Division officers responded to the report of a carjacking that took place in the parking lot of a business in the area of 23 Avenue and 24 Street. It was reported to police that an adult female was exiting her vehicle in the parking lot when she was approached by two male suspects who demanded the keys to her black 2016 Toyota Rav4. The suspects then allegedly choked the female and threatened her with a knife. After receiving the keys, one of the suspects reportedly fled in the female’s Rav4 while the other fled in a black/blue truck or SUV. The female complainant was not injured.

Earlier today, Tuesday, March 5, 2019, police received reports of two additional carjackings in southeast Edmonton involving suspects of a similar description:

  • At approximately 12:55 a.m., an adult male had just parked his white 2013 GMC Acadia on the road in the area of 85 Street and 7 Avenue SW when he was reportedly approached by two males in a black SUV seeking assistance finding an address. The two males then allegedly exited their vehicle and demanded the complainant’s vehicle keys. When the keys were not provided, an altercation reportedly took place and the male complaint suffered minor injuries. The men then allegedly fled the area in the black SUV.
  • At approximately 12:55 p.m., an adult female was reportedly loading items into her red 2019 Kia Sportage in a parking lot in the area of 70 Street and Stanton Dr. SW when she was approached by two males in a black SUV who demanded her vehicle keys. After providing the keys, one of the males allegedly assaulted her and both fled the area with her vehicle and the black SUV. The female complainant suffered minor injuries as a result.

Investigators believe that all three carjackings are linked and may involve the same suspects.  In each incident the suspects were described as males between the ages of 25 and 35, approximately 5’6” to 5’11” in height, with medium skin tone and an average build. One of the suspects was described as having facial scruff.

Officers also believe the suspects may be driving one of the two vehicles stolen (pictured below) and encourage anyone who sees these vehicles or the suspects to not approach them and immediately call police.

 

 

Black 2016 Toyota Rav4
AB license # BVW 0059

 

 

 

 

Red 2019 Kia Sportage (stock photo)
AB license # M58038

 

Detectives continue to actively investigate these incidents and are warning motorists to be aware of their surroundings, in particular when entering and exiting their parked vehicles. Drivers are also advised to look around when approaching their vehicles and, if they notice suspicious activity, change their direction and proceed to a public area. Parking in well-lit, public areas, locking their doors immediately after entering and exiting their vehicles and keeping their doors locked while driving is recommended.

If approached by an unknown person who demands vehicle keys, drivers are advised to always comply and call police as soon as it is safe to do so.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

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Alberta

Calgary police charge teen accused of trying to hire someone to murder another youth

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Calgary police are accusing a 16-year-old of trying to hire someone to kill another youth.

Police say in a release that they began investigating last month after getting a complaint.

After a six-week investigation, police say officers gathered enough evidence to support charging the teen.

Staff Sgt. Colin Chisholm says the allegations are disturbing and police are thankful they could investigate before anything tragic happened.

The teen was arrested on Tuesday and is charged with counselling to commit murder, breach of a court order and possession of marijuana.

The suspect cannot be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2022.

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Alberta

Alberta judge finds man guilty of manslaughter in death of one-year-old son

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By Daniela Germano in Edmonton

An Alberta judge has found a man guilty of manslaughter in the death of his one-year-old son as well as of assaulting his young daughter.

The man’s lawyer argued in court that the father should be found not criminally responsible for his son’s death in November 2019.

Rory Ziv argued that a severe sleep disorder put the man from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., in a state of automatism, which made him incapable of understanding his actions when he killed his son and injured his daughter, who was five at the time.

There is a publication ban on identifying the girl because she is a minor.

The man testified at trial that he has no memory of hurting his children, saying he fell asleep on the couch while caring for them. He said he dreamt he was being attacked and awoke to find that he injured his children.

A sleep expert also testified at trial after examining the man two years following the boy’s death. Dr. Colin Shapiro said he found “thumbprints” of parasomnia, a disorder in which people do things while asleep that they are unaware of, such as sleepwalking.

Shapiro testified he saw multiple arousals during the man’s deep sleep.

The man was initially charged with second-degree murder, but the prosecution asked the judge to consider a verdict of manslaughter instead.

Crown attorney Sandra Christensen-Moore said at trial earlier this month that evidence suggested the man was intoxicated at the time of the attack, which would affect his ability to form the intent needed for second-degree murder.

In announcing his verdict Wednesday, Justice John Henderson said it was more likely that the accused was suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms from his opioid addiction and lashed out at his children.

Court heard that the man has a history of substance abuse with cocaine, alcohol, heroin and prescription opioids. He admitted to self-medicating his back pain with heroin and illegally obtained Percocet.

Henderson said the man got into an argument with is partner the day of his son’s death and threw a plate in the woman’s direction because they did not have enough money for him to buy cigarettes.

“Certainly there is no doubt on the evidence that (the man) was having serious sleep difficulties and serious back pain at the time of these events,” the judge said.

“I’m also satisfied that the evidence is very clear that he was experiencing other stressors, including financial issues and relationship issues. He was also experiencing significant symptoms of heroin withdrawal.”

But Henderson said the defence was not able to prove that the man was in a state of automatism when he attacked his children.

“While I am satisfied that there is some evidence that could potentially support the conclusion of automatism, when I consider the totality of the evidence, I find it is not possible to come to that conclusion.”

The father is to be sentenced at a later date.

The judge said the man, who was prone to explosive outbursts, adapted his story about what happened the day of his son’s death as a way to rationalize his behaviour.

Henderson said such rationalization was most evident in the “evolving story” of the man’s dream of being teleported and attacked by a shadow creature during which he was trying to protect his children.

“This story did not exist for more than one year after (the boy’s) death and it only began evolving thereafter.

“The story was crafted to satisfy a narrative that would lead to a conclusion of automatism.”

Henderson noted that a forensic psychologist testified that the man had unresolved anger issues.

The judge said the man became overwhelmed by his situation and burst out in an aggressive and disproportionate manner when striking his children.

“I conclude that this explanation is for the attack is much more likely than the conclusion of automatism.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2022.

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