On March 13, 2023, at 12:30 p.m., Didsbury RCMP was notified that a black 2003 Ford F-350 had been stolen from the parking lot of the provincial court building in Didsbury. The stolen Ford F-350 was tracked to a hardware store in Crossfield where police located it abandoned. Investigators were able to confirm a white 2017 GMC Sierra truck, stolen from Cranbrook, BC., on March 7, 2023, picked up the suspect responsible for the theft of the Ford F-350 and then departed the area.
With the assistance of the Southern Alberta RCMP Crime Reduction Unit, Calgary Police Service HAWCs Air Support, Airdrie Rural RCMP, and RCMP Police Dog Services, the white GMC truck was located and a surveillance operation ensued.
The GMC was observed operating within the City of Airdrie at high rates of speed during high pedestrian and vehicle traffic times. The suspect vehicle continued into the City of Calgary where the surveillance operation was assisted by Calgary Police Service ground units, again operating in a dangerous manner through residential neighborhoods and driving down public walking paths.
The suspects eventually ditched the white GMC south of the Calgary International Airport and fled on foot. Calgary Police Service K9 and Patrol members were able to arrest the driver.
Approximately $35,000 worth of stolen property was located within the Ford F-350 and GMC Sierra trucks, which has been subsequently linked to property crimes in Alberta and British Columbia. The recovered property includes:
- Honda 5000 Generator stolen from a work site in Calgary;
- Geographical imagining equipment was stolen from a worksite in Calgary;
- Stolen electrical wire from Sparwood BC.;
- Stolen pedal bikes from Didsbury, AB.;
- Stolen electrical wire from Tsuu T’ina Nation, AB.;
- Stolen inventory scanners from Calgary, AB.;
- Stolen 2017 GMC Sierra truck from Cranbrook, BC.;
- Stolen 2003 Ford F350 truck stolen from Didsbury, AB.;
- Stolen credit cards and personal identification.
The approximate total value of stolen property recovered, including the vehicles, was $130,000.
Kyle Vaughan (37), a prolific property offender from Calgary, Alta., was arrested and transported back to Didsbury RCMP Detachment. Vaughan was charged with 23 Criminal Code offenses, including possession of the stolen property and dangerous driving. He was remanded into custody to appear by CCTV in Airdrie Provincial Court on March 16, 2023, at 9:30 a.m.
This investigation is ongoing as investigators are in the process of identifying the owners of the additional recovered property and returning identified property to the rightful owners.
Staff Sgt. Browne, Commander of Didsbury RCMP Detachment, was quoted as saying, “This operation was a collaborative effort by the RCMP Detachments in Didsbury and Airdrie, the Southern Alberta RCMP Crime Reduction Unit, and Calgary Police Service, to apprehend a property offender who has been targeting communities in Alberta and British Columbia while minimizing the risk to public safety. These are not victimless crimes and every effort should be made to ensure these habitual or prolific offenders are held accountable for their actions.”