An attempt to misdirect the RCMP appears to have failed an Airdrie man believed responsible for five armed robberies and a hit and run.
Christopher Ferguson, 27, of Airdrie, AB, faces a total of 20 charges, including those stemming from two Cochrane armed robberies, and others may follow as the RCMP investigation continues to unfold.
After colliding with a motorcycle on Hwy. 1 and Range Rd. 274, just east of Chestermere, Ferguson was discovered hiding in a field by the RCMP police dog services on May 14. It is believed he was attempting to cover his tracks when he phoned the Airdrie RCMP minutes after the collision, claiming his SUV had been stolen in Airdrie. That hit and run seriously injured the motorcyclist and he was transported to the hospital. An hour earlier the same evening a Carstairs liquor store was robbed at knifepoint.
"We believe that he made that phone call in an attempt to avoid apprehension for the hit and run and for the robberies," says Cpl. Curtis Peters of RCMP media relations.
The RCMP believe Ferguson is also responsible for a series of knifepoint robbery including those of two Cochrane liquor stores on May 10. In one of the cases, the store clerk did not comply with the demand and a brief altercation occurred with the clerk receiving some scratches.
Ferguson is the suspect in a May 8 liquor store robbery in Olds and a May 11 robbery in Airdrie.
RCMP from Cochrane, Airdrie, Didsbury and Olds worked together on investigating the robberies and believe the same person is responsible for all five robberies.
Inside the SUV, officers located evidence tying Ferguson to the recent robbery in Carstairs. A search of his home uncovered further evidence connecting him to the other robberies.
Charges include robbery with an offensive weapon, assault with a weapon, failing to comply with probation conditions. impaired operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm, failing to remain at the scene of a collision, uttering threats and public mischief.
While additional charges may stem from these particular robberies the RCMP will also be checking to see if he is connected with any other unsolved crimes in the area.
"It is not out of the realm to think that there could be others elsewhere, so we're going to examine similar cases around the area and work with our partners in other jurisdictions and city police to make sure we have a full acount of his activities."
Ferguson made his first court appearance in Calgary on May 17 and remains in custody.