EDMONTON – Police in Alberta say they have identified two organized crime rings responsible for ATM thefts and other offences that include firearms trafficking.
Seven people have been arrested and are facing 101 charges.
Officers with the provincial ALERT joint police agency say they began their investigation in May after the two groups were identified.
They say one group was operating out of the town of Rimbey and the other was in both Edmonton and Saddle Lake Cree Nation.
Police say the groups committed six brazen thefts of ATM machines.
They say it’s part of a bigger problem in the province, where more than 130 bank machines in dozens of communities have been targeted this year.
“The impact of these offences extends far beyond the monetary loss of an ATM,” said Staff Sgt. Dave Knibbs.
“These offenders have left a trail of destruction in rural communities and have shaken residents’ sense of safety.”