By Mike Pickford
Lacombe, Alberta — September 21, 2016 — An Alberta man is facing multiple charges after police recovered more than $400,000 worth of stolen goods at an alleged chop shop in Lacombe County, Alta.
Having spent months investigating and building their case, the Blackfalds RCMP called in the Priority Crimes Task Force to carry out the raid on a rural property located roughly 40 kilometres northeast of Red Deer. Focusing their attention on a residence and Quonset outbuilding, the team managed to retrieve several vehicles and pieces of machinery, including five motorcycles, a car, four trucks, a Bobcat loader, a snowmobile and a $65,000 solar-powered generator.
Police reported that many of the vehicles had their VINs removed or altered, with some in various stages of disassembly. Investigators also seized firearms, ammunition and other weapons, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and various other unidentified pills, drug paraphernalia, a number of stolen tools and more than $10,000 in cash.
The bust is one of many to have taken place at the property over the past six months, with a similar raid on March 23 seeing police recover over $150,000 worth of stolen property.
Addressing media shortly after details of the raid were made public, Blackfalds RCMP Staff Sgt. Ken Morrison said he hoped the detachment’s relentless investigation has finally brought an end to all illegal activities ongoing at the property.
“They blatantly continued to operate (even after the initial bust). We would go out in that rural area and vehicles would take off on us. There were stolen vehicles floating around the area on a regular basis. Finally we went in and took it to its final stage,” Morrison told media.
He later went on to thank the public for all of its support, while recognizing the extensive effort police put into the investigation, with members from Blackfalds RCMP, Sylvan Lake RCMP, Red Deer General Investigative Section, the RCMP Emergency Response Team, Red Deer Police Dog Services making up the task force. Edmonton Air Services also assisted in the search.
Thirty-five-year-old Brandy Lynn Cobbe of Lacombe County has been charged with three counts of possession of property obtained by crime, seven counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, possession of an illegal substance and possession of an illegal substance for the purpose of trafficking.
He appeared in Red Deer provincial court on Sept. 21.