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RCMP arrest suspect in attempted Canmore child abduction



The Whistler RCMP apprehended a suspect wanted by Alberta police after the attempted abduction of an 8-year-old girl in Canmore. The RCMP received word the suspect was in Whistler and conducted a search on Thursday, Feb. 16, showing the suspect's photo around town. While police were searching Whistler Village on foot, they received word of a possible sighting on London Lane in Creekside, and attended.

They located the male waiting for the bus with cross-country skis, and arrested him without incident. The male was transported to North Vancouver and is in the process of being transferred back to Alberta to answer charges of abduction and invitation to sexual touching, stemming from the incident on Feb. 15.

According to the report, the 37-year-old suspect allegedly pulled an eight-year-old girl into a public washroom in Canmore and invited a sexual act from her. The child ran away and was not physically harmed.

String of break-ins reported

The RCMP believes the same person or persons may be responsible for a number of break-ins reported around the village last week.

On Feb. 14 at 11:46 p.m. a break-and-enter was reported on the 4300 block of Northlands. The residents, long-term renters, left their unit at 6 p.m. and returned at 11:30 p.m., when they noticed items missing — two iPods, an iPad, a Sony PSP, a laptop and a pair of goggles. There was no sign of forced entry and it's believed the front door may have been left unlocked or that the thieves entered through a patio door.

On Feb. 18 the RCMP received a report of a break-and-enter at a housing complex on Casabella Crescent, which occurred between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. the previous evening. The victims had left the front door unlocked. An iPhone, cash and a wallet with credit cards and a driver's licence was taken from a downstairs bathroom.

On Feb. 18 at 9:22 p.m. the RCMP received a report of a break-in to a unit on the Benchlands, with the suspects gaining entry through an unlocked patio door. The items taken include an iPad, iPod Touch, a backpack and cash. The break-in occurred between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. that evening.

On Feb. 19, the RCMP received a call from Casabella Crescent regarding a break-in that occurred between 4:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. the previous day. The house was occupied at the time, but the thief or thieves took a passport, cell phone, iPhone, backpack and a wallet with credit cards and a driver's licence. On Feb. 20 at 3:44 p.m. the RCMP received a call from a unit on the 4100 block of Spearhead. The theft likely occurred between 5 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on Feb. 19. The thief took an iPod Touch and chocolates.

In that case there may be a witness, as someone saw two boys between the ages of 13 and 15 on the patio at the time of the theft. Two women are also among suspects. The RCMP is continuing to investigate, and believe the thief or thieves may be knocking on doors before breaking in. If you have any information call 604-932-3044, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

In the meantime, the RCMP is reminding people to lock their doors, windows and patio doors, even if leaving for a short time.

Lost teens returned safely

On Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. the RCMP received a call from a woman after five teenagers did not return from the mountain. According to the report the teens, aged 17 to 19, were last seen at the Glacier Creek Lodge, and intended to hike out-of-bounds and into Corona Bowl. They texted once at 3:30 p.m. to say they were at the top.

None of them was equipped with backcountry gear or were prepared to spend a night on the mountain.

It was too dark to do a helicopter search by the time the police were called, but Search and Rescue were organized and found the youths at 8:14 a.m. the next morning. They were lifted by helicopter back to the village, and returned to their parents.

Walk Safe kits now available

The first Walk Safe kits are now available to the public, and are available with reflectors at the Whistler Public Library, municipal hall and the RCMP. These kits are free, and intended to increase the visibility of pedestrians who walk and cycle at night along the highway.

As well, there are still reflectors to be assembled. There is another volunteer day on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Community Room at the library.

Anyone walking on the highway or through neighbourhoods after dark is reminded to wear bright clothing, walk facing traffic and carry lights and/or a reflector to increase their visibility.

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