ALERT said Tuesday that seven people were facing more than 100 charges in connection to a number of thefts in Alberta in recent months.

According to ALERT, more than 130 cases of ATM theft took place in the first six months of 2016, with more than 60 communities impacted.

Investigators with ALERT’s Edmonton organized crime and gang team got involved in the investigation in May 2016 after groups were identified in connection to a number of cases.

As a result of investigation into those cases, ALERT said a total of 101 charges were laid against seven individuals, the most recent arrest took place September 28, 2016.

The first phase of the investigation resulted in the arrest of two individuals: Jonathan Andres, 23, of Bentley and Shane Hicks, 37, of Rimbey.

Those suspects were arrested June 12, and investigators executed three search warrants. The accused are facing a shared total of 63 charges related to theft, possession of stolen property, mischief, and break and enter.

It’s alleged that in two cases the suspects sabotaged RCMP cruisers in an attempt to obstruct police.

Andrews and Hicks are facing charges in connection to the following incidents:

  • ATM theft in Caroline on May 5
  • Stolen Trailer in Pigeon Lake on May 31
  • Break and enter in Rimbey on June 2
  • Stolen pickup truck in Rimbey on June 2
  • Damage to police vehicles at the Rimbey RCMP detachment on June 5
  • ATM theft at Rimbey Credit Union June 5
  • Damage to police vehicles at Bashaw’s RCMP detachment on June 9
  • Attempted theft in Ponoka on June 9
  • Break and enter and stolen truck in Bashaw on June 9
  • Break and enter at post office in Mirror on June 9
  • Attempted theft in Ponoka on June 12
  • Break and enter at post office in Mirror on June 12

ALERT said Andrews was sentenced to 30 months in prison, minus six months credit for time already served. Meanwhile, Hicks is due to appear in a courtroom in Wetaskiwin November 2.

In the investigation’s second phase, investigators targeted a separate group operating out of the Saddle Lake and Edmonton areas. Five individuals: Tyrone Hunter, 23, Byron Hunter, 42, Rodney Hunter, 37, Francis Cardinal, 22, and Abigail Hunter, 45, are facing a total of 38 charges.

Charges range from weapons, theft, break and enter – it’s alleged the five were involved in ATM thefts and trafficking of firearms, among other criminal activity.

Investigators executed two search warrants at homes on the Saddle Lake Reserve on August 9 and September 19. As a result, police seized a dozen firearms, body armour, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Byron and Tyrone Hunter were arrested in Edmonton on August 19, Abigail Hunter and Francis Cardinal were arrested August 31 in Saddle Lake.

The final arrest took place on September 28 when Rodney Hunter was arrested in West Kelowna, B.C., for weapons trafficking and other charges.

The five suspects are facing charges related to the following incidents:

  • Armed robbery and break and enter at store in Saddle Lake on June 25, 2014
  • Perjury at St. Paul Provincial Court on August 10, 2016
  • Break and enter to steal firearm at Warehouse Sports in St. Paul on February 17, 2014
  • Break and enter at Guardian Pharmacy in Mundare on April 14, 2015
  • Break and enter and ATM theft at Cardinal Cash and Carry in Goodfish Lake on January 12, 2016
  • Break and enter and theft of ATM at Servus Credit Union in Lamont on March 14, 2016
  • Break and enter and ATM theft at Servuce Credit Union in Mundare on May 19, 2016
  • Break and enter and ATM theft at Saddle Lake store on May 20, 2016

Byron Hunter is expected to appear in court October 28, his co-accused are scheduled to appear on November 1.