After a lengthy and thorough investigation by the Saskatchewan RCMP General Investigation Section with the assistance of RCMP investigators from British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba, 52-year-old Joseph Ronald berta, is now facing 89 additional criminal code charges, bringing the total to 135. The investigation has linked him to crimes that occurred in 24 of Saskatchewan’s RCMP Detachment jurisdictions where many rural properties were being targeted. Of the 135 charges laid, 75 are linked to incidents that occurred in the Province of Saskatchewan.
Palmer is accused in connection with multiple break-ins at businesses and recreational camper trailers, etc. across Saskatchewan, ranging from Leader in the west to Carlyle in the east to Glaslyn in the north-central (see attached map of RCMP detachment areas impacted by this investigation highlighted in green, three new jurisdictions highlighted in red).
Palmer is now charged with:
9 counts of theft of a motor vehicle
12 counts of theft
71 counts of break and enter
1 count of possession of break enter instrument
19 counts of possession of property obtained by crime
4 counts of trafficking property obtained by crime
1 count of fraud
9 counts of mischief under $5000
4 counts of arson to property
1 count of laundering proceeds of crime
1 count of fail to comply with recognizance
1 count of unsafe storage of a firearm
1 count of possession of a weapon obtained by crime
1 count of unauthorized possession of a firearm
Palmer remains in remanded custody.hedulear in Yorkton Provincial Court on June 16 at 1 p.m.
RCMP say this investigation spans across 21 Saskatchewan detachment areas and there are a multitude of people and businesses impacted. The number of charges laid showcases the in-depth investigation and teamwork that was required to bring a conclusion to so many break and enter and theft complaints (some received by detachments as far back as June, 2015.
"It was excellent investigative skills that resulted in connections being made and further charges ultimately laid," sasys Sgt. Kelly West, RCMP General Investigation Section.
Charges against Palmer were also submitted for similar incidents in Souris, Minnedosa and Neepawa, Manitoba.
Palmer was taken into custody after a report received by Moosomin RCMP at approximately 6:06 a.m. on Aug. 28, 2016, that a local business had been broken into.
Investigation led members to another local business where Palmer was arrested and taken into custody on an outstanding warrant. A subsequent search warrant took place and members located a significant amount of cash, numerous tools and a loaded firearm later determined to have been stolen from a residence in Alberta over the winter.