Winnipeg police identify 20 suspects in stolen property investigation
Over the past several months, all four divisions of the WPS have been involved in the complex stolen property investigation. (File image)
Published Tuesday, October 18, 2016 11:05AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, October 18, 2016 11:37AM CST
Winnipeg Police Service said 20 suspects have been identified and 140 charges will be laid in relation to break-ins and thefts in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba.
“To date, there has been in excess of $300,000 in stolen property recovered, which includes vehicles, camper trailers, police equipment, snow blowers, lawn care equipment, building materials, new tires, tools, key cutting machines, electronics, blank passports and blank birth certificates,” police said in a release, Tuesday morning.
Police said they have been getting information for the past year about the possibility of a semi-organized group of individuals operating across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
“In some cases we determined that they were targeting specific goods. In some cases it was crimes of opportunity,” said Insp. Barry Kostchuk with WPS.
Kostchuk said some of individuals are involved in the methamphetamine drug trade. Police explained that the motive was simply to get money to fuel the drug trade.
He said two RCMP uniforms were also recovered.
“It’s my understanding a police vehicle was broken into and items stolen,” said Kostchuk. “In relation to the uniforms I can’t comment as to where the equipment…the other police-related equipment came from.”
It’s not clear where the blank passports and birth certificates originated and police don’t know what the suspects were planning to do with them.
Of the 20 suspects, two are from Calgary and nine others are from Winnipeg and the surrounding area.