LETHBRIDGE: Regional police say a domino effect in questioning repeated offenders this week has helped them solve several recent crimes in the city.
The force deployed a tactical team Thursday to take down one of three male suspects police arrested in connection with armed robberies at Gonzo's Gas and a local hotel room. The Gonzo's Gas robbery happened Tuesday, January 10, when a lone man went into the north side convenience store brandishing a rifle, stole cash and ran off. The hotel robbery happened December 30 when three men broke into a room at a hotel on Mayor Magrath Drive and used the threat of a gun and a knife to take cash and property. Charges are still pending in those three arrests and police have yet to release the names of the accused in those cases.
Investigators were led to those three during questioning of two other men arrested in connection with an armed home invasion on Friday, January 6.
"What we find is that most of these people are involved in repeat crimes. As we start talking to one it basically dominoes and that's what occurred here," said Staff Sergeant Ian Sanderson, who talked to Country 95 News on Friday about the incidents. "We started with one and before we knew it we had different robberies on the go with different people involved in them."
Lethbridge resident, 19-year old Christopher Anthony DeGoergio, faces six armed-robbery-related charges in connection with the armed home invasion. In that case, two men entered a home with a handgun believed to be an airsoft pellet gun and demanded cash. Police say the intruders "roughed up" a male victim and left him with soft tissue damage that didn't need medical attention. The thieves left with a cell phone and a TV. Investigators allege all parties in that case knew each other.
Police say all three crimes were targeted and drug-related.
"The people that were involved have been very specifically targeted by these people so it's not like we have random citizens being victimized out there. But there were guns and knives involved in these incidents so it's caused us great concerns," said Sanderson.
Sanderson added they'll release the names and charges related to the most recent arrests next week.