South Slave

Police arrest two youths after hours-long Fort Smith operation


Fort Smith RCMP say two people have been arrested after an operation lasting much of Tuesday, involving a significant police presence on the town’s streets.

Officers were deployed to Calder Avenue for much of Tuesday afternoon and evening. Their operation ended shortly after 9pm. RCMP confirmed the arrests just before 11pm.

Police said the operation was in response to a “complaint regarding a robbery involving firearms” in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

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Cabin Radio understands two teenagers had reported being threatened by people in a vehicle while walking home. The teenagers told relatives they had been asked to hand over their phones and passwords but were not otherwise harmed.

Police identified two suspects. The first was located and arrested on Tuesday afternoon at a home in Fort Smith, RCMP said.

RCMP officers in tactical apparel outside a house in Fort Smith on March 31, 2020

RCMP officers in tactical apparel outside a house in Fort Smith on March 31, 2020.

The second was eventually arrested following an apparent hours-long standoff at a residence near Calder Avenue and Wilderness Road.

Police said RCMP emergency response teams, police dogs, and an Alberta RCMP explosive disposal unit were all involved in Tuesday’s operation, alongside backup from Hay River RCMP and others.

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“As both suspects are youth, RCMP cannot release their names,” policed said. “Both suspects are now facing numerous firearms and property-related charges. No one was injured in the investigation and there is no further risk to the public.”

Sections of Calder Avenue and Wilderness Road were closed off while police responded.

Armed officers in tactical apparel were visible on the street.

A submitted photo of RCMP vehicles on Fort Smith's Calder Avenue on March 31, 2020

A submitted photo of RCMP vehicles on Fort Smith’s Calder Avenue on March 31, 2020.

Fort Smith has endured a difficult 24 hours, with several other crimes being reported in the community.

The town’s airport and Salt River First Nation’s Petro-Canada reported break-ins that had taken place on Monday night.

A spokesperson for the Salt River First Nation said two people broke a window to get into the gas station, making off with some beef jerky and a lighter stand.

At the airport, the maintenance garage was broken into through a window. The airport manager could not disclose what was taken.

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