Sask. rancher charged as missing equipment found

Missing equipment found on a rural property southwest of Saskatoon in 2016 was valued at over $1.2 million. (Photo courtesy Saskatoon RCMP)

A western Saskatchewan cattle rancher faces charges of theft and possession of stolen goods after the discovery of missing tractors, balers, trucks and other equipment Thursday.

Iain Stables, 38, is due in Provincial Court in Saskatoon on April 14 to answer to 29 criminal charges, Saskatoon RCMP said in a release Friday.

Saskatoon and Warman RCMP and the Saskatoon Police Service’s stolen auto unit on Thursday searched a property near Donavon in the RM of Montrose, where they said they recovered machinery reported as stolen from both “citizens and dealerships” across western Saskatchewan, including the Saskatoon, Rosetown, Biggar and Outlook areas.

Charges laid include 16 counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000, seven counts of theft over $5,000, five counts of motor vehicle theft and one count of break, enter and theft, RCMP said.

The machinery RCMP reported recovered Thursday included five John Deere farm tractors, two Deere hay balers, two Deere Gator side-by-sides, two Dodge trucks, a Haybuster, a cattle hauler, a car hauler, a mower and a tiller.

In all, police said, the machinery’s value is estimated “in excess of” $1.2 million. The allegations have yet to be proven in court and Stables is presumed innocent.

Stables and his family operate Isla Bank Angus in the RM of Montrose, about 50 km southwest of Saskatoon.

The operation, which has been in the Stables family for three generations but moved in 2011 from its original site near Delisle, received a 75-year Heritage Award from the Canadian Angus Association in 2014.

Stables and his wife were on the cover of Country Guide last spring (“The new ranch,” March 17, 2015, pgs. 32-34) in a profile of Isla Bank as a start-up cattle operation in the 21st century. — Network

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