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Four men charged and another sought for Western Manitoba theft ring

Pictured here are five guns recovered by RCMP during raids as part of an investigation into a Western Manitoba theft ring.

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Pictured here are five guns recovered by RCMP during raids as part of an investigation into a Western Manitoba theft ring. (RCMP)

Mounties have arrested four men in connection with the thefts. An arrest warrant has been issued for a fifth, Richard Cole Ross, pictured here.

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Mounties have arrested four men in connection with the thefts. An arrest warrant has been issued for a fifth, Richard Cole Ross, pictured here. (RCMP)

RCMP say they’ve arrested four men and seek another in connection with a Westman theft ring.

As reported in Tuesday’s Brandon Sun, two men appeared in court earlier this week, each charged with about three dozen property-related charges.

Those charges include break and enter, car theft, vehicle arsons and possession of stolen property.

Among the many crimes was the theft of three pickup trucks with four guns in them, two of the trucks also contained ammunition.

While raids in Brandon and Carberry in January led to the recovery of numerous stolen goods, including five guns, police issued a press release on the case on Wednesday.

RCMP say that they’ve charged a total of four men with theft and firearm offences: Curtis Sutherland, 23, of Ebb and Flow First Nation (although Sutherland’s last known address was outside of Brandon), Nicholas McKay, 23, of Brandon; Quinn Starr, 23, of Carberry; Preston Whitford, 22, of the RM of Alonsa.

Police say that thieves targeted mainly shops and outbuildings on rural properties around Brandon and across Western Manitoba.

They took numerous trucks, snowmobiles, ATVs, firearms and a variety of tools.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Richard Cole Ross, 23, of Brandon in relation to the thefts.

Some of the stolen items have been returned to their owners, but many remain unclaimed and police are working to identify those items and return them.

The RCMP Forensic Identification Unit and Major Crime Services in Brandon and RCMP officers of the Brandon, Carberry, Souris and Killarney detachments continue to investigate. The Brandon Police Service is also involved in the investigation.

It’s not clear whether all of the guns that were stolen during these thefts have been recovered.

» Brandon Sun

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