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RCMP arrest prolific offenders

Mounties have captured two men believed to be involved in over 100 crimes in the Lakeland region.

On May 1, 2019 at approximately 12:30 a.m., Cold Lake RCMP members were conducting patrols on the Elizabeth Metis Settlement at which time two trucks were observed travelling together in a suspicious manner.

The officer followed from a distance and confirmed that the vehicles were stolen.

The suspects noticed the RCMP vehicle and took off and a pursuit was initiated. The suspect vehicles then split up.

With the assistance of the Bonnyville RCMP, General Investigations Section (GIS) and Police Dog Services (PDS), RCMP were able to deploy a spike strip which was successful.

Officers arrested 25-year-old Matthew Antoine Francois from within the vehicle and 25-year-old Simon Erwin Cardinal fled on foot and was tracked by PDS and arrested. Cardinal and Francois are believed to be involved in approximately 100 property crimes within the Lakeland area.

Cardinal was arrested on 16 charges, some of which include:

• Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
• Flight from police officer
• Resist police officer
• Assault with weapon on police officer
• Assault on police office x 2
• Possession of stolen property
• Possession of dangerous weapon
• Possession of break and enter tools with intent
• Disguise with intent

Francois was arrested on 14 charges, some of which include:

• Flight from police officer
• Assault with weapon on police officer
• Assault on police officer x 2
• Possession of break and enter tools with intent
• Disguise with intent
• Possession of stolen property

This matter is now before the courts and no further updates will be provided.

We are committed to stopping any criminal enterprise and are grateful to the public for bringing issues to our attention. Property crimes and the risks associated with attempting to stop stolen vehicles are everyone’s concern, and we’re grateful for the close collaboration with our neighbouring detachments.