2 arrested, Duff still at large

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Two men were arrested by High Prairie RCMP June 25, but Bradley Duff still remains one step ahead of the law.

High Prairie RCMP report that on June 25, following a lengthy search, police, along with the assistance of the RCMP Police Dog Service, arrested two men without incident, south of High Prairie in the Gilwood area. Police said little about the incident except they continue to investigate and the two male suspects remain in custody. Their names were not released.

Meanwhile, Duff remains at large and his warrants for arrest remain in effect.

The public is warned not to approach Duff as he is believed to be possibly armed and dangerous.

Duff has successfully evaded police since June 9, and believed to have been in the High Prairie area twice. It began in the area of Blue Ridge area in Woodlands County where police were investigating and asked the public to avoid the area.

Later that day, police issued more details.

“Whitecourt RCMP received a complaint of a vehicle in the ditch with a passenger unconscious with Emergency Services on scene. When the male became conscious, he fled into a forested area,” say police.

The investigation revealed the vehicle was stolen from Edmonton in April 2020. Items in the vehicle and a description of the suspect who fled the scene led RCMP to believe that the suspect was Duff, 35, of no fixed address. He is currently on outstanding warrants on other matters.

On June 14, High Prairie RCMP received a report of a sighting of a male believed to be Duff during the night/early morning hours in the vicinity of Range Road 185 and Township Road 742 in Big Lakes County, about three km southwest of Triangle Hall.

“Duff is believed to have been wearing all dark or black clothing and a red bandana covering his face and was in the process of removing items from a white Dodge truck parked off the roadway. The same white Dodge truck was later reported to Emergency Services by a passerby to be on fire on June 15, 2020, at 12:30 a.m.,” say police.

Later, police determined the Dodge truck was stolen from Whitecourt, and Duff was the last person known to be seen driving it.

High Prairie police deployed multiple police resources to the area, including RCMP Police Dog Services Unit, to conduct a search for Duff but were unsuccessful.

On June 18, 2020, at approximately 9 p.m., Barrhead RCMP received a complaint of a break and enter at a residence located in the area of Secondary Highway 658 near Fort Assiniboine, Alta. The suspect vehicle attempted to ram the complainant’s vehicle in an attempt to flee the property.

“Barrhead RCMP attempted to locate the suspect vehicle and the suspect vehicle came to rest in a ditch in the area of the Athabasca River southwest of Fort Assiniboine, before both suspects fled into the forest,” say police.

RCMP Air Services and the RCMP Police Service Dog were utilized and one of the suspects, a woman, 28, from Whitecourt, was taken into custody without incident. The second suspect believed to be Duff, remained at large.

Another report of Duff’s alleged sighting occurred June 23 near Mayerthorpe at 8:30 a.m.

“Mayerthorpe RCMP received a complaint of a suspicious person in a rural area northeast of Mayerthorpe, in a pick-up truck with a dirt bike in the box. Mayerthorpe RCMP attended the location and located the stolen pick-up abandoned off road in the Connor Creek area. The stolen pick-up truck was linked to the June 18 incident in Barrhead, Alta.,” say police.

A short time later information was received by Mayerthorpe RCMP of an individual matching Duff’s description, having been in the area seeking fuel for the dirt bike.

An extensive search of the area was conducted by Mayerthorpe, Evansburg, Whitecourt and Barrhead RCMP along with the assistance of RCMP Air Services, Police Dog Services and the Emergency Response Team; however, the search was unsuccessful in locating Duff.

Police obtained more warrants for Duff’s arrest on charges of break and enter to a residence, two counts of dangerous operation of a conveyance, and flight from police.

June 25, the High Prairie incident occurred.

“Earlier this morning, High Prairie RCMP received a report of an abandoned stolen vehicle and a sighting of an individual matching Duff’s description in the Gillwood area south of High Prairie. This area is further described as being near Township Road 740 and Range Road 170 south of High Prairie,” say police.

Area residents were cautioned to be on the lookout for Duff, who has been sighted on area rural properties.

Duff is 6’2” tall, weighs 201 pounds, and has blue eyes and brown hair. He also has multiple tattoos.

If anyone has information about Duff’s whereabouts, please contact Whitecourt RCMP at [780] 779-5900, 911 or your local police.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at [1-800] 222-8477 [TIPS].

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