Sask. rancher charged with theft, possession

A Saskatchewan rancher is facing criminal charges after police recovered more than a dozen pieces of farm machinery worth $1.2 million that had disappeared from rural residences and farm machinery dealerships in central Saskatchewan.

Police say Iain Stables, 38, from the Donovan, Sask., area has been charged with 29 criminal code offences including 16 counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000, seven counts of theft over $5,000, five counts of theft of a motor vehicle and one count of break, enter and theft.

A total of 16 machines were recovered at two locations in Sask-atchewan, including five John Deere tractors, two balers, two John Deere Gators, two Dodge trucks, trailers, a mower and various other items.

All but one of the machines was recovered in the Donovan area, about an hour’s drive southwest of Saskatoon.

One tractor was located on a farm between Prince Alberta and Melfort

Lead investigator in the case, const. William Groenen of the Saskatoon general investigation section, said police are gathering information that could result in additional charges.

“We’re still looking into the possibility of any proceeds of crime charges, so there’s still an ongoing investigation,” he said.

“Now that the media release has been made public, there may be more information that comes to light so we’ll see if that produces anything that (warrants) charges.”

Groenen said the investigation began when members of the public came forward with information about equipment that had gone missing from various locations in central Saskatchewan.

The majority of the machinery that was recovered disappeared from farm machinery dealerships in Rosthern, Rosetown, Outlook, Biggar and Saskatoon.

“The majority of it was from dealerships … and not from private residences,” said Groenen.

Stables is due to appear in Saskatoon Provincial Court on April 14.

Saskatoon RCMP led the investigation with assistance from Warman RCMP and the Saskatoon Police Service.

Charges were laid after police executed a search warrant in the Rural Municipality of Montrose near Donovan, on Feb. 11.

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