Edson RCMP lay arson charges after lengthy investigation

submitted by Edson RCMP

The Edson RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS) has been actively investigating suspicious fires at Edson Chrysler Dodge Jeep on Dec. 9, 2019; a vehicle fire in Edson on Dec. 9, 2019; the KW Pet Store in Whitecourt, Alta., on Dec. 26, 2019; Edson Honda on Dec. 30, 2019; and the Petro Canada in Niton Junction on Feb. 23, 2020.

Edson and Whitecourt RCMP GIS —with the assistance of RCMP GIS Units from Western Alberta District, Drayton Valley, and Hinton; Grand Prairie Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams and other RCMP specialized support units— were able to identify and charge two individuals in connection with multiple suspicious fires.

Thomas James Berube (37) and a male youth (17), both from Edson, are jointly charged with the following:

· Arson – damage to property (Edson Chrysler Dodge Jeep)
· Break and enter – commit theft over $5,000 (Edson Chrysler Dodge Jeep)
· Arson – damage to property (motor vehicle)
· Theft of motor vehicle over $5,000
· Arson – disregard for human life (KW Pet Store)
· Killing or injuring animals (KW Pet Store)
· Break and enter – commit theft under $5,000 (KW Pet Store)
· Arson – damage to property (Edson Honda)
· Break and enter – commit theft over $5,000 (Edson Honda)
· Obstruction of justice

Berube is also charged with the following:

· Arson – disregard for human life (Petro Canada)
· Break and enter – commit indictable offence (Petro Canada)

The name of the youth will not be released pursuant to provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Following judicial hearings, both Berube and the youth were remanded into custody to speak to bail and are scheduled to attend court at Edson Provincial Court on March 17, 2020.

On Dec. 26, 2019, the KW Pet Store break and enter resulted in the theft of a four-month-old male Chihuahua dog from the premises. The Edson RCMP are looking for the assistance of the public in locating this dog.

If you have this dog, please drop it off at the Edson Animal Control Dog Pound or alternatively, to the Edson RCMP, so that he can be returned to the owner. The Edson Animal Control Dog Pound is located at 3240-1 Avenue, Edson, Alta., and is open between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the dog is asked to contact Edson RCMP at 780-723-8822 or your local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.”

Edson RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Kevin Gaal, along with the Town of Edson Mayor Kevin Zahara, will be available for the media at Edson RCMP Detachment today at 2:30 p.m.

For more information and to RSVP your attendance, please contact Corporal Deanna Fontaine.

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