Lethbridge Police have charged three people in connection with an investigation that resulted in the recovery of $105,000 worth of stolen property.
On March 25, 2016 members of the Priority Crimes Unit, in conjunction with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and assistance from the Patrol Division, executed search warrants at three homes and a storage locker as part of an ongoing property crimes investigation. Police subsequently recovered an assortment of stolen property including a trailer of irrigation pipe, a Dodge Ram 3500 truck, Toyota Corolla, more than a dozen high-end bikes, an electric bike, various tools, small quantities of drugs including cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl, drug paraphernalia, electronics, a four-person sauna and $3,000 cash. Two males were arrested without incident in a traffic stop and a female at one of the residences.
Investigation to date has determined the subjects were predominately accepting the stolen property in exchange for drugs and some of the items recovered were also shopped on Kijiji – meaning “In Search Of” (ISO) buyers were contacted and offered specific items for purchase.
The investigation is ongoing and efforts to identify the rightful owners of the property are underway.
Mitchell Ryan Foxcroft, 27, of Lethbridge, is charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000 and three counts of breach of a recognizance.
Ryan David Michael Toner, 32, of Lethbridge, is charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000 and possession of a controlled substance.
Haley Marie Trimble, 20, of Lethbridge, is charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000.
Foxcroft and Trimble made their first court appearances March 30 and Toner is scheduled to appear in court April 1.
Additional charges are pending as the investigation continues.
Police wish to remind the public to always exercise due diligence prior to purchasing items from online classified sites. Some tips include:
Always check the persons other "ads" which is located at the bottom of the ad you are looking at. If the person is selling numerous items of varying types, that is something that should be taken into consideration as possibly suspicious.
Check to make sure serial numbers or article numbers on the item you wish to purchase are intact
Always record the ad number on Kijiji, the seller's contact information (whether it is an email thread, phone number, etc.)
Don't hesitate to ask for the seller’s driver license or some form of identification, just to ensure you are talking to the person you've conversed with on the ad. Most of the time an honest person will provide this information without hesitation. Someone who is unwilling to provide identification will likely leave rather than risk being found out
Ask for a receipt from the seller
Ask for information about the item – where it was purchased, how long the owner has had it, how it’s been used, if it’s had any repairs. A true owner will easily be able to provide information on the item’s history.
Never meet the person at your residence. Always meet in a public place, preferably with plenty of video surveillance.
If something seems too good to be true, it likely is. If you know a deal is too good to be true and continue with the transaction anyway, you could be held liable. Willful blindness is not a defense.
**Acting Staff Sgt. Travis Evenson, Criminal Investigation Section, will be available for media interviews today at 1 p.m. at the station. The recovered property will also be displayed for photos. This will be the only opportunity for on-camera interviews**