Chestermere RCMP is asking for public assistance in finding a male suspect who fled police and struck an RCMP vehicle June 4, after he and a female accomplice were stopped for checking car-door handles.
According to Chestermere RCMP Sgt. Mark Wielgosz, detachment members responded to a complaint at 2:20 a.m. concerning two individuals looking for unlocked vehicles in the area of Oakmere Way. When police searched the area, he said, one of the individuals was discovered, but fled on foot.
A male and female suspect were later located in a parked truck at a nearby hotel in central Chestermere, according to Wielgosz. RCMP members attempted to identify both individuals by running the license plate number of the vehicle they were in, but noticed discrepancies.
“We may run a license plate, and we’re certainly looking to see if it is stolen or not,” Wielgosz said. “But there are other details with respect to the vehicle make, model, year, and vehicle identification number. That’s highly suspicious for us, because it tends to indicate a stolen plate or some kind of fraud that has taken place.”
The female suspect then entered another parked vehicle to retrieve identification, according to RCMP, and the male offender drove his truck into one of the RCMP cruisers. That disabled both vehicles, according to Wielgosz, and the male fled on foot.
Despite the use of a HAWCS helicopter unit from Calgary Police Services and a police service dog, the search for the male suspect was unsuccessful.
According to RCMP, the female suspect – Jennifer Rice-Durling, a 33-year-old Medicine Hat resident – was arrested on outstanding warrants and additional offences on site.
She was held in custody on charges of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, possession of a controlled substance, fraudulent concealment, failure to comply with recognizance, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle and other offences.
The arrest resulted in the recovery of a stolen vehicle, a stolen license plate, a falsified license plate, illicit drugs, stolen property and a substantial amount of property police are working to identify the lawful owners of, according to Wielgosz.
As of June 6, according to Chestermere RCMP, the male suspect is still at large. He is between 5’8” and 5’10” with a slender build, a fair complexion, short dark hair and facial stubble. He was wearing dark pants and a dark hoodie.
“We’re still asking for the public to provide any information they may have,” Wielgosz said.
If you have information about a crime, contact your local RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at tipsubmit.com