A local Airdrie store owned by two brothers, The Morrison Trading Post, was broken into on July 11 at 5 am.
Dallas Morrison, the Manager of Operations at The Morrison Trading Post, described the event.
“The individual broke in and stole sealed sports products as well as graded and raw cards. He made it out with approximately 25 thousand dollars worth of Canadian inventory.”
A local dog walker heard the faint cracking of steps on glass and decided to investigate, upon walking up she saw the broken glass and called the police and they responded to the active break in.
Security camera footage shows the suspect, 36-year-old Airdrie native Max Russel, breaking in through the front door with a rock, and repeatedly coming back.
On the last theft, the suspect gets out of the store at 6:22am and leaves to the east. The cops arrive at 6:23am from the west side, only 50 seconds later, never crossing paths.
“The police called us and they had us come and meet them here and told us what happened. Once we got into our surveillance system, we saw that the suspect wasn’t wearing gloves and had touched a few glass surfaces barehanded” Morrison said.
Once the police saw the footage, they decided to call in the forensics team to investigate further. They found fingerprints on the glass Russel had touched.
“After the forensics team left, me, my brother, youngest brother, and our one employee Josh decided to take a look around and see what we could find ourselves” Morrison said.
They started going to buildings surrounding the area and asking for footage and one Airdronian named Ron obliged.
“He had video clips of the suspect with the same clothing, a duffel bag, and a backpack entering a truck. So, we made note of that” Morrison says.
The brothers then went to Facebook where they made a post outlining what had happened to the store and explaining that they would need to be closed for a little while. A couple members of the tight-knit card community then reached out to the brother owners not too long after the post.
“Some members reached out privately and said, I don’t know if this will be relevant but some guys have been trying to sell some stuff online and we think it might be yours. They then told us what products and the quantity they were trying to sell which lined up to the inventory audit we had completed for the police”. Morrison said.
They started receiving screenshots from the community members about interactions with the alleged seller. The two brothers eventually received a tip off from a community member about the location of where the man lived.
“We decided to drive over there to see if anything would stand out to us, we just wanted to drive by” Morrison says.
So, they drove by, and what they saw surprised them.
“That exact same truck that was on video with a specialty light bar and other stand out pieces was directly in front of the front door.” Morrison says.
They brought in photos of the truck to the RCMP and the location. Within 12 hours the RCMP had issued a search warrant and arrested the individual.
Currently the RCMP confirmed that the individual is charged with
Break and enter
Possession of break in tools
Possession of stolen property
The victim expects Max Russel to also be charged with theft over $5000.
Morrison says “We are a family-owned story, and this person broke into our second home. We felt pretty violated by that. To see this person taken down because of our community and other sports card collectors, as well as the police to take that info and get something done, it felt amazing to see that happen in real life”.
“Without the love and dedication within this industry, the other collectors and dealers, this never would have gone down. We didn’t ask for any info but people still reached out to help out. It was really amazing”. Morrison also thanks the police for not pushing this aside, taking it seriously, and responding quickly.
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