Strathmore RCMP have charged six people in relation to incidents that occurred at cell phone retailers in Okotoks, High River, Olds and Strathmore recently.

On December 27, Okotoks RCMP were called to a report of an assault at The Source on Southridge Drive in Okotoks. According to police, three black males entered the store and after an employee spoke to them, one of the males allegedly assaulted the employee before they fled the store.

RCMP also responded to reports of thefts of cell phones in Strathmore and Olds in January. In both of those incidents, police say several black males entered cell phone stores and allegedly stole phones before fleeing.

Then, earlier this week, on Monday, February 5, High River RCMP were called to a report of an attempted theft at Foothills Mobility on Centre Street. Police say six black males tried to enter the store and, after they were unsuccessful due to locked doors at the business, fled on foot. A short time later on that same day, Strathmore RCMP responded to an incident at the Bell Mobility Store on 3 Avenue in Strathmore where five black males allegedly attempted to force their way into the store by kicking the locked glass doors. They fled to a waiting vehicle.

With help from witnesses, and with the use of surveillance photos and forensive evidence, Strathmore RCMP say they located the vehicle and arrested the six male suspects.

According to RCMP, 19-year-old Kareeba Joseph of Calgary, 19-year-old Rauch Bang of Calgary and four male youths face a total of 34 charges, including theft, wearing a disguise with intent to commit an indictable offence and failing to comply with a recognizance.  

They have been released from custody and are scheduled to appear in court.

"These arrests are an excellent example of the public working with us to reduce crimes," Strathmore RCMP Cpl. Jay Salmon says, in a release. "By locking the doors of these businesses, employees were able to prevent further crimes from taking place. Furthermore, information sharing between businesses and police agencies was vital in identifying and arresting these individuals. We are very grateful for the public's assistance with these investigations."

RCMP say they are continuing to investigate and additional charges are possible. Anyone with information is asked to contact Strathmore RCMP at (403) 934-3535 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) by internet at www.tipsubmit.com or by SMS.

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