Arrest made in rural break-ins

Crime: Police look to return stolen property

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 11:33 am

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A Calgary man is facing more than 100 charges in relation to a series of break-ins to rural homes, including some near Okotoks, and police are now hoping to reunite stolen items with their rightful owners.

Calgary Police Service Det. Mike Saunders said they have stolen vehicles and 15 pallet loads of stolen goods they are hoping to give back.

“The vehicles are pretty easy to get back to people, it’s the property, tools, jewelry, electronics that take the time to try to marry up with owners,” he said.

Saunders said residents in areas outside Calgary that were a victim of a theft between late November and Feb. 5 are asked to contact their local RCMP detachments. He said a list of stolen property has been shared with RCMP.

“If they haven’t done so, provide a property list to their RCMP detachment so it can be married up with the lists that we’ve provided to the detachments for comparison,” he said.

People will need to provide some sort of proof of ownership, such as receipts or photos of the items in their possession.

The Calgary Police Service has laid more than 100 charges so far against an individual in relation to a series of thefts of vehicles and property, much of it from rural properties located outside Calgary.

The arrest came on Feb. 5 when an individual was seen driving a stolen vehicle. It took a number of police resources, including the Calgary Police tactical unit and HAWCS Helicopter, to take the man into custody. Three search warrants were executed in homes associated to the man arrested in the Calgary communities of Marlborough Park and Forest Heights.

Investigators found hundreds of items, believed to have been stolen from rural homes in the Okotoks and Strathmore areas.

The Calgary Police service is working with RCMP detachments to find victims of the break-ins.

Saunders said it’s believed the individual that was arrested is the man seen in security camera images taken at a Black Diamond after a Jan. 24 break in at a home near Okotoks.

“Our investigative theory is that individual is related to this larger file,” he said.

In this case, RCMP responded to a report of a break-in in progress at a rural home near Okotoks. The homeowner was in the house at the time and managed to scare off the intruders.

The suspects fled in an stolen Audi A5 and were spotted at a gas station in Black Diamond. A high-speed pursuit ensued, but police lost track of them as they approached Okotoks.

Nicholas Konrad Kirszenstein, 29, of Calgary, has been charged with more than 100 offences, including three counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000, all relating to Ford trucks; one count of possessing body armour without a permit; and two counts of assaulting a peace officer relating to a previous incident.

Kirszenstein is also facing 31 counts each of unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon contrary to a prohibition order and possession of a weapon obtained by crime, as well as one count of possession of a prohibited weapon.

Saunders said more charges are pending.

“This has taken a good amount of our resources, focusing on this file and getting this before the court, there are further charges coming down the turnpike for this individual as well as some other associates,” he said.

Kirszenstein is in custody and will appear in Calgary court on March 13.


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