Port Alberni RCMP have arrested two men they say are at the core of an extensive property crime scheme that victimized owners from across Vancouver Island, including Parksville and Qualicum Beach.
Police say both suspects have extensive histories of property theft, and are well known to police on the Island. This criminal group is alleged to have committed truck thefts, break-ins, vandalism, and possessed stolen property in multiple Island jurisdictions including Port Alberni, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Campbell River, Nanaimo and Victoria. While the tally is climbing as the investigation unfolds, investigators indicate that the total loss and damage resulting from these incidents is currently estimated at more than $400,000.
Port Alberni Serious Crime investigators say they networked with officers from all of the victimized jurisdictions as they pieced together the information that lead to the identification of the two men. According to police, local Forensic Identification Officers worked to obtain the physical evidence needed to firm up the grounds for the criminal charges. Assistance was provided by RCMP helicopter Air8 from the Comox area and the Port Alberni RCMP Police Dog Services as both units tracked several allegedly stolen trucks.
On May 9, Port Alberni RCMP arrested a 19-year-old Port Alberni man for his role in the operation and on May 13 they arrested a 26-year-old Port Alberni man. They have been remanded in custody and will appear in Port Alberni Provincial Court on May 20. RCMP say additional arrests and charges are expected in this matter as police continue to comb through evidence and speak with victims and witnesses.
— NEWS Staff/RCMP news release