Attempted parcel theft goes to the dogs when getaway is foiled by snow

·2 min read

It started as a December doorstep parcel theft, evolved into a dog-napping and ended two weeks later in a hotel parking lot with a machete and a cattle prod.

The chain of events began Dec. 15 when a man and woman followed a delivery truck into Sandhills Estates, a rural subdivision southwest of Edmonton, and stole a package left at a front door. They then got stuck in the snow before making their escape, Parkland County RCMP said Tuesday in a news release.

The unknowing homeowner came out to help dig them out. A neighbour who was driving by also stopped to assist.

Then the homeowner spotted her package in the backseat of the vehicle that she was trying to dig out, and confronted the pair about it.

"He actually admitted that he'd taken the parcel," Const. Shelley Nasheim said Tuesday, "but then he pulled out a can of bear spray and proceeded to spray both women."

After yanking the neighbour from her car, the man sped off, leaving behind his accomplice, their vehicle, a firearm and a large quantity of methamphetamine.

He did, however, take the neighbour's dog.

Female suspect co-operative

Nasheim said the female suspect, a 22-year-old woman, was quite distraught at being left behind but didn't give any grief to the two women who had been bear-sprayed.

"She talked to them, she was co-operative. She told them who she was. She stayed with them; she didn't try to get away. And once police arrived, she was in their custody," Nasheim said.

The dog was found unharmed later that day by Spruce Grove municipal enforcement officers. The stolen vehicle was found the same day but in a different location, RCMP said.

RCMP caught up with the man, a resident of Spruce Grove who is well-known to police, on Dec. 28 in the parking lot of a Nisku hotel.

When he was arrested, the 30-year-old had bear spray, a machete and a cattle prod in his possession, RCMP said.

He has been charged with 18 offences, ranging from robbery and assault to trafficking and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Theft charges are pending against his female accomplice.

"The two victims, they didn't do anything wrong. They came out with the best of intentions to try and help and this is what happened," Nasheim said.

"It's just fortunate that there weren't more serious injuries. Getting sprayed with bear spray is very painful and a very awful experience … it's unfortunate and unnecessary."