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Calgary Police determine stolen car not stolen

Police Notebook:

By: Christina Waldner

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 10:43 am

Surveillance video caught this man reaching over the counter at the Ramada in Airdrie to steal their debit machine.
Surveillance video caught this man reaching over the counter at the Ramada in Airdrie to steal their debit machine.
Submitted/For Rocky View Publishing

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According to a Calgary Police Service (CPS) media spokesperson, the plates on a car they pursued into Airdrie on July 18 were from a stolen vehicle and had been switched without the driver’s knowledge.

CPS tracked the vehicle to the 7-Eleven on Big Hill Springs Road and Luxstone Blvd. at 8:30 a.m., and aided by Airdrie RCMP, determined the male driver was the registered owner of the vehicle.

The police presence included six CPS cruisers as well as the HAWCS helicopter and one RCMP vehicle. The CPS spokesperson said it is standard procedure in the case of a stolen vehicle to send out the kind of response seen on July 18, and the driver may not have realized he was being pursued.

“Typically, we take these things pretty slowly and delicately when we have stolen vehicles just so we don’t instigate a high speed pursuit,” she said.

“It’s not uncommon. They (criminals) switch the plates out on vehicles, so then his plate would be used on the stolen vehicle,” she added.

She was not able to provide statistics on how often this happens, but suggested people check their plates periodically to ensure they have not been a victim.

Debit machine stolen

The Ramada Inn on East Lake Crescent in Airdrie was victimized by a lone thief on June 14 when a man entered the hotel lobby in the afternoon and stole the debit machine from off the reception desk.

Hotel manager, Crystal Hvidsten, said the staff person on duty at the reception desk was only gone for a maximum of five minutes taking care of other hotel business when the theft occurred.

The debit machine stolen is the type that guests at the hotel use to pay for their rooms by debit or credit card.

Hvidsten said she called their supplier, Moneris, as soon as the theft was discovered and the unit was deactivated. They have had no unauthorized activity on the machine.

“The only way they can use (the machine) is to use a special white card,” said Hvidsten. “They didn’t get our card. I still have both my cards.”

Cst. Jason Curtis with the Airdrie RCMP said investigators are not sure of the motive behind the theft, but said it’s possible the thief took the debit machine to use in another crime.

“I’ve heard of them being switched out before,” said Curtis. “We had a couple of cases at CrossIron Mills mall of that.”

The theft was caught on hotel surveillance cameras. The suspect is described as Caucasian, of medium build, 5’9” to six-feet tall, in his mid 30s to early 40s, with brown hair. He was wearing a red Adidas jacket.

If you have information on any unsolved crime, call Airdrie RCMP at 403-945-7200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


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