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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 11:08 PM
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Remember how my nieghbours were arrested?
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Here it is..... holy fuck!

Suspects in cross-country bank-theft ring include 83-year-old man Michelle Macafee, Canadian Press
Published: Saturday, January 27, 2007 Article tools
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Font: * * * * WINNIPEG (CP) - An 83-year-old Vancouver man is among eight suspects facing charges in an alleged high-risk bank-theft ring.

The arrests are the result of a three-year investigation led by the Winnipeg Police Service, with help from officers in Edmonton and Vancouver.

The accused were allegedly part of highly technical thefts at automated bank machines, as well as in fraud involving mortgages, credit cards and debit cards, Winnipeg police Supt. Gord Schumacher said Friday.

He offered few details about how the suspects - with addresses in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Edmonton - are connected.

Court documents refer to the ring as "The Blanchard Criminal Organization" after alleged leader Gerald Daniel Blanchard, 34, of Vancouver.

Blanchard faces 26 charges, including participation in a criminal organization.

"It's very important that we don't think of criminal organizations as being just those who have the neon signs on their back that say 'Hells Angels,' " said Schumacher.

"There are a substantial amount of independent organized crime groups in this country, this being one of them."

Schumacher said more details will be released in the next few weeks and more charges could be laid involving more suspects.

The initial investigation can be traced back to a Winnipeg bank theft of about $500,000 in May 2004.

Blanchard and Aaron Jakob Syberg of Winnipeg have been charged in relation to the CIBC heist.

The robbery, in which thieves broke into eight automated teller machines at a new CIBC centre, caught the attention of police for its sophistication.

Investigators began exploring the theory that a band of criminals could be involved in the case, along with other unsolved robberies across the country.

Schumacher described the case as "a fascinating file . . . like nothing I've ever seen before."

"As we started to move along, it really started to expand across the country into something that was a little unusual for us."

The 83-year-old man is Carl Bales. He faces two counts of committing fraud over $5,000 for a criminal organization, two charges of fraud under $5,000 and participation in a criminal organization.

Schumacher refused to elaborate on his role in the ring.

The other accused are Dale Allan Fedoruk, 35, of Winnipeg, who faces two fraud charges; Lance Ulmer, 38, of Edmonton, who faces nine charges, including participation in a criminal organization and conspiracy to traffic credit cards or credit card data; Lynette Tien, 21, of Vancouver, who faces five charges and Angela Marie James, 21, of Edmonton, who faces five charges.

A warrant has been issued for Balume Kashongwe, 32, of Winnipeg, who police believe to be in the Toronto area.

The Canadian Press 2007
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