RCMP project leads to Okanagan auto theft arrests

A seven-week-long project, which targeted auto theft, yielded countless recommended Criminal Code charges against several individuals

A seven-week-long project, which targeted auto theft, yielded countless recommended Criminal Code charges against several individuals, including the recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen property.

The project conducted by the Kelowna RCMP Street Enforcement Unit (SEU), which concluded on Oct. 31, had commenced immediately after information had been received and a number of stolen vehicles were observed on a rural property in the 7000 block of Highway 97 in Peachland.

Since then, RCMP have recovered several vehicles, mainly Ford pick-up trucks, which had been reported to police as stolen in multiple jurisdictions including Vernon, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lee Creek, Dawson Creek and Calgary.

Police had also recovered a flat deck trailer, a Volvo Skid Steer and a Bobcat.

“In total an overwhelming $240,000 in stolen property was recovered during the project,” said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey.

Of note on Oct. 31, investigators located a suspected stolen Ford F350 pick-up truck parked in the driveway of a residence on Mugford Road in Kelowna.

Covert surveillance was conducted on the vehicle and a traffic stop attempted. The suspect vehicle failed to stop for police and fled into the Mackenzie Bench area.

Police quickly located the suspect vehicle abandoned in an orchard and a police service dog immediately initiated a track. The male suspect, a 21-year-old West Kelowna man, was located and arrested without incident. He was held in police custody and later released by the courts on a recognizance of bail.

All together police have recommended 32 Criminal Code charges against seven accused persons.

Charges include 12 counts of possession of stolen property, five counts of driving while prohibited, four counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of break and enter, two counts of fail to comply with probation order, two counts of breach of recognizance and one count each of flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, theft of a motor vehicle and theft over and under $5,000.


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