Percy Khambata, 62, left, and Harley Rae Jackson are two of hundreds of suspects wanted by Nanaimo RCMP on outstanding arrest warrants, which police hope to clear from their files with help from a new social media initiative. (Photo submitted)

Nanaimo RCMP hope to clear up old warrants with the help of social media

Police have files attached to hundreds of outstanding arrest warrants dating back to early 1990s

Nanaimo RCMP detachment has hundreds of outstanding warrants it hopes to clear off its books with a new effort to catch suspects through social media.

Over the next few months the Nanaimo RCMP intend to post profiles of suspects with outstanding arrest warrants, some dating as far back as the early 1990s, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

“We have hundreds of warrants still on the books,” O’Brien said. “We can do something about those. Some of the crimes they’re alleged to have committed are relatively significant so we want to make sure that they’re dealt with accordingly. We’re going to do a mix of the ones that are dated and the more recent ones.”

O’Brien estimates there are as many as 300 outstanding warrants, many for suspects who may have since left B.C.

“A lot the warrants are not returnable because they’re only provincewide,” he said. “A lot of these characters head out to Alberta and places elsewhere, but they get the calling and they want to come back home and we’ll be waiting with open arms.”

Under certain circumstances the jurisdiction of the warrant can be extended by the Crown, depending on the severity of the crimes allegedly committed. Then if a suspect is picked up in another province the Nanaimo-issued warrant can be executed and that person can be returned to B.C.

On Monday, June 8, the Nanaimo RCMP advised the public of two warrants from the past two years. Percy Khambata, 62, is wantedfor assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, and Harley Rae Jackson, 36, is wanted for alleged break-and-enter and mischief.

According to police, Khambata’s warrant stems from a 2019 incident at a street market. Hundreds of people were attending the market when a man began yelling and screaming while also allegedly brandishing a knife. Prior to police arriving, Khambata got into a physical confrontation with another man who managed to hold him until police arrived.

Khambata pleaded not guilty, but failed to appear for a subsequent court date and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Investigators have been unable to find him, and police believe he may have moved out of the province.

Khambata is 5-foot-4, 200 pounds with grey hair and is known to wear a headband.

READ ALSO: Expensive shoes stolen in break-and-enter in Nanaimo

Jackson remains on Nanaimo RMCP’s radar stemming from an incident last spring when the owner of the Travellers Lodge on Nelson Street called police after he heard voices and footsteps in the upstairs of his building. The caller told police there should not have been anyone other than himself in the building.

Officers who attended found that someone had cut through drywall to access copper piping. Jackson was allegedly found outside and arrested, but later released from custody. Forensic identification specialists examined the scene and, based on their findings, Jackson was identified as having been in the building. An arrest warrant was issued for Jackson, but police have been unable to find him.

Jackson is caucasian, 5-foot-9, 180 pounds with black hair and tattoos of a Celtic design on his right and left wrists.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Khambata or Jackson is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.
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