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Tuesday , 22 September 2020

Fas Gas break-in from 2018 linked to 16 other thefts with $650,000 stolen, RCMP make arrests

After a lengthy investigation, police have arrested the suspects in a gas station break and enter in Bonnyville from 2018 and linked them to 16 other similar crimes in the past four years.

On June 15, 2018, Bonnyville RCMP began investigating a break and enter at Fas Gas on 50th Avenue where the suspects stole money and other items from inside the store.

Since July 2019, Strathcona County’s GIS and Property Crimes Unit has been investigating a series of break and enters involving thefts from ATMs at gas stations across all four RCMP districts in the province.

After identifying involved suspects, the unit successfully linked and laid charges for 17 break and enters to businesses dating back to 2016, police said on Thursday.

In total, approximately $650,000 in cash was stolen from the 17 break and enters, that include:

  • Canmore Shell – August 10, 2016;
  • Airdrie Shell – September 18, 2016;
  • Red Deer Shell – October 14, 2016;
  • Blackfalds Fas Gas – August 19, 2017;
  • Blackfalds Fas Gas – December 13, 2017;
  • Valleyview Petro Canada – January 22, 2018;
  • Bonnyville Fas Gas – June 14, 2018;
  • Red Deer Fas Gas – August 6, 2018 and August 9, 2018;
  • Slave Lake Fas Gas – March 20, 2019;
  • Devon Fas Gas – April 15, 2019;
  • Leduc Fas Gas – April 17, 2019;
  • Sherwood Park Fas Gas – July 4, 2019;
  • Devon Fas Gas – August 9, 2019;
  • Coleman Esso – November 23, 2019;
  • Airdrie Fas Gas – November 25, 2019;
  • Penhold Fas Gas – November 26, 2019.

Information was shared amongst several different detachments, with notable contributions by Bonnyville RCMP Detachment’s General Investigation Section and the Slave Lake RCMP Detachment.

Kevin Lee Sider (40) of Edmonton is facing a total of 33 charges, including, but not limited to, 17 break and enters to businesses, money laundering and possession of stolen property over $5,000.

Bruce Wayne Larter (53) of Leduc is facing a total of 11 charges, including, but not limited to, four break and enters to businesses, money laundering and possession of stolen property over $5,000.

Bruce Larter was previously charged in the first instance in relation to the Slave Lake and Valleyview gas station break and enters, by RCMP investigators in the respective jurisdictions.

Kristal Lynn Watson (36) of Edmonton is facing three charges, including money laundering and two counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000.

Kevin Sider and Bruce Larter were remanded into custody and are scheduled to appear on May 1 in Edmonton Provincial Court.

Kristal Lynn Watson was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear on June 10 in Edmonton Provincial Court.

CCTV footage from the targeted and neighbouring businesses contributed significantly to this investigation, and helped link previously unsolved break and enters from years past.

Investigators would like to extend their appreciation to those businesses that went above what is expected to ensure their systems were working properly, well guarded and capable of retaining sufficient quality footage for an extended period of time.

“I want to acknowledge the significant amount of work undertaken by our Property Crime Unit as well as express my appreciation to all the involved businesses for their assistance to us,” says Staff Sergeant Andrew Kyle of the Strathcona County RCMP General Investigation Section.

“We will continue to collaborate with specialized units to combat property crime.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connect Media. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.