RCMP to lay charges in a pair of Slave Lake ATM thefts

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

A police source tells The Leader arrests are imminent in the case of two ATM (automated teller machine) thefts in Slave Lake. They happened in November and December of 2019.

“We’re going to make an arrest,” said Sgt. Don Racette last week.

The charges will be in connection with ATM thefts at the Multi-Rec Centre on Dec. 5 and at the Petro Canada station convenience store next to the Cornerstone shopping centre on Nov. 8.

According to stories that appeared in The Leader, both thefts were done in the same manner: a stolen pickup truck was used to smash the doors.

Then one end of a tow rope or strap was tied to the machine; the other end was fixed to the truck, which was used to yank the ATM out the door.

In the case of the MRC theft, the truck pulled with such force that the ATM whipped around, bounced off a concrete post and ricocheted into the front entrance doors, smashing a couple of them.

This was in addition to the tall plate glass window off to the side of the entrance, which was the point chosen for the initial breach.

Racette did not say anything about how the investigation managed to identify the culprit or culprits. Presumably the case will end up in Slave Lake Provincial Court.

It is quite likely that the same person or persons are responsible for other ATM thefts. They have been happening in communities all over the area, including Athabasca, Wabasca, Smith, Kinuso, Sucker Creek (just last week!) and Swan Hills.

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