The Alberta RCMP Auto Theft Unit has made several arrests and recovered $500,000 in stolen vehicles after a nearly 3-month long investigation.  

In March of 2024, the unit identified a trend of brand-new Ford Explorers being stolen from dealerships throughout Central Alberta.  

The suspects were programming new keys for the vehicles and driving the vehicles off the dealership lots with both sets of keys. 

It was discovered that the Ford Explorers and numerous other vehicles were being re-vinned, registered in Alberta with fraudulent VIN numbers, and used in numerous serious and violent crimes. 

During the investigation into the crime group, police recovered documentation that identified many other potential stolen and re-vinned vehicles that police believed were in circulation.  

The VINS were flagged with the Canadian Police Information Centre. 

RCMP and other police agencies in Canada have seized:   

  • 2023 GMC Acadia AT4 that is believed to have been involved in the homicide of Mohamed Abdi in Edmonton. This matter is still under investigation by the Edmonton Police Service. 

 

  • A vehicle linked to a shooting on March 30, in the Mycroft Townhouses in North Edmonton. This matter is also still under investigation by the Edmonton Police Service. 

  

  • Two vehicles at the Port of Vancouver, both of which were set to be exported from Canada. 

  

  • One vehicle in Ontario by York Regional Police and $150, 000 was seized. 

  

As a result of this investigation which included the execution of multiple search warrants in the Edmonton area, RCMP have recovered: 

  • 7 stolen Ford Explorers 
  • 4 stolen Ford F350’s 
  • A stolen GMC Acadia 
  • A stolen Toyota Rav4 
  • 4 stolen trailers 
  • 2 stolen snowmobiles 
  • Several devices capable of programming vehicle keys 
  • A radio frequency detector for locating GPS trackers in vehicles 
  • An estimated $30,000 in Cocaine 
  • $5000 in Fentanyl 
  • MDMA and Methamphetamine 

  

48-year-old Quinn Richard Olson, a resident of Lacombe, has been charged with: 

  • Theft of Motor Vehicle (x2) 
  • Fraudulent Concealment (x2) 
  • Break and Enter 
  • Possession of break-in instruments 
  • Possession of master key 
  • Altering a VIN number 
  • Possession of property obtained by crime (x10) 
  • Uttering a forged document (x10) 

On April 16, Olson was arrested and taken before a Justice of the Peace and remanded into custody with his next court date set for July 2, at the Alberta Court of Justice in Edmonton. 

 

25-year-old Nikki Yargeau, a resident of Red Deer, has been charged with: 

  • Break and enter 
  • Fraudulent concealment 
  • Possession of property obtained by crime (x4) 
  • Theft of motor vehicle 
  • Uttering a forged document (x3) 

Yargeau currently has a warrant for her arrest for these offences.  

RCMP ask that anyone who has information as to her whereabouts call local police or crime stoppers to remain anonymous.  

47-year-old William Blackwood, a resident of Lac Saint Anne County, has been charged with 7 counts of possession of property obtained by crime. 

On June 21, Blackwood was arrested and taken before a Justice of the Peace and released from custody with future court dates in Edmonton.  

The investigation has uncovered an active organized crime group securing large amounts of stolen vehicles and property which are being utilized in serious organized crimes and sold with the intent of exportation outside of Canada.  

Many vehicle thefts in Alberta consist of crimes of opportunity, with vehicles stolen while left running or unlocked which are subsequently used for a short time frame and later recovered.  

The Alberta RCMP would like to remind Albertans that the most effective way to protect yourself is to lock your vehicle and never leave keys in the ignition. 

The RCMP Auto Theft Unit has been working with vehicle manufacturers to resolve vulnerabilities in their vehicle systems to prevent future vehicle thefts.