Two firearms and one kilogram of crystal meth were among the “shocking” items police found inside a van associated with two Lower Mainland men who allegedly broke into the Qualicum Beach Inn on Friday morning at 4 a.m.
The suspects remain in custody.
According to Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman, the two men used a pry bar to jimmy open the hotel’s beach access door, causing minor damage to the building.
Foreman said the men are known to police and stole goods from the Qualicum Beach Inn, but nothing of “significant value,” before fleeing out another door.
Foreman said police surrounded the building and found one of the men hiding in nearby bushes. Foreman said that man resisted arrest and one police officer sustained minor injuries while struggling to arrest him.
Police said they found the other man hiding in a van in the Qualicum Beach Inn’s parking lot. Both men were transported to the Oceanside RCMP detachment and held for court.
Police said upon searching the vehicle investigators uncovered a handgun, a shotgun and ammunition, one kilogram of crystal methamphetamine and various stolen items, including credit cards and tools.
“Whenever firearms and drugs are involved the risk of violence and injury increase for our officers,” Oceanside RCMP Staff Sgt. Brian Hunter said in a statement issued after the incident. “That was a shocking amount of drugs that will not hit our streets.”
Hunter said he was proud of the police officers who responded to the incident. “It just goes to show our community is just a short ferry ride away if they want to conduct business here,” Hunter said at Monday’s regular Qualicum Beach council meeting. “We need to be proud of our low crime rate and it’s going to stay that way… Especially our crime reduction unit — we really work with other detachments at identifying these chronic offenders that know no boundary.”
Police recommended 19 charges against the two men, including break and entry, possession of break in instruments, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property, theft under $5,000 and resisting lawful arrest.
Police said the stolen property found on the suspects and in their vehicle link them to several other files in Parksville Qualicum Beach and the Greater Victoria area.
— With files from Auren Ruvinsky