Hundreds of charges laid after investigation into 90 crimes over the last year
Edmonton police said nearly 500 charges had been laid against 34 individuals, following an investigation into a crime spree along the LRT corridor, and in malls and recreation centres that lasted more than a year.
Police said Wednesday that 460 charges had been laid against 32 youths and two young adults in connection to a series of crimes reported between January 2017 and March 2018.
It’s believed the individuals accused in these cases are responsible for 90 crimes reported across the city. The accused are between 13 and 18-years-old.
“Some of these youths are repeat offenders that we know, some of them are not,” Supt. Tom Pallas said Wednesday. “I am hoping this is a wakeup call to all of these teens who were involved in this.”
Charges stemming from the investigation include: aggravated assault, assault, robbery, weapons offences, theft under $5,000, possession of stolen property, possession of stolen credit cards, use of or trafficking in stolen credit cards, credit card fraud, shoplifting, mischief, possession of a controlled substance and breach of conditions.
Police said a 16-year-old boy was walking home from school in April, 2017, when it’s alleged six individuals attacked him in northeast Edmonton in an attempted personal robbery. The teen was taken to hospital with serious injuries and underwent surgery.
“If you’re going to show such contempt and disrespect for our community and the law you’ll be held accountable for these actions,” Supt. Pallas said.
One of the more recent incidents saw a 46-year-old woman sustained serious internal injuries after she was kicked down a flight of stairs at Belvedere LRT Station in a random assault at about 2 a.m. on January 14, 2018.
Surveillance video shows the accused in this case fleeing the scene by sliding down a bannister after the random assault. A bystander was seen helping the woman on the stairs, she sustained multiple injuries.
The accused in that case has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
Police said it’s believed 12 of the 34 accused were involved in the majority of incidents included in this investigation.
EPS said in about a third of the incidents, victims were reportedly “swarmed”. In those cases, social media posts were used to create flash mobs in an effort to distract victims.
“[It’s] a new phenomenon we’ve seen, where it’s again communication through social media: ‘Let’s get together here,’ people show up,” Supt. Pallas said. “As you see on the video, a mass amount of people running around the area, kind of like a mob mentality.”
In one incident on March 7, 2018, dozens of youths joined a number of the accused in swarming two teen males at the Century Park LRT Station.
Surveillance video shows a mob rushing the teens before fleeing. It’s alleged the two teenagers were beaten off-camera by two suspects. In that incident, a 14-year-old boy suffered a serious head wound that required stitches.
Two youths have been charged with assault as a result of that incident.
The 32 accused youth males can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, as they are all under 18-years-old. The remaining two accused were not 18-years-old at the time of the alleged offences, so they cannot be named either.
With files from Nicole Weisberg