Fancy sports car to discourage gang life
Local Mounties are hoping a 2004 Nissan 350Z, which was seized in Vancouver from an alleged gangster, will keep young people away from gangs.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton was in town Thursday to hand the keys over to Superintendent Tim Head, the acting district officer for the Southeast District RCMP.
The modified sports car has been covered with graphics, such as yellow chalk outlines on the hood, and messages that read, "seized by the police," and, "gang life is a dead end."
"This car brings a strong message to those who think (the) gang lifestyle is glamorous," said Head.
"If you're involved in criminal activity, your toys can be seized."
The car was provided by the B.C. Civil Forfeiture Office as part of an anti-gang public outreach campaign.
It's the third forfeited vehicle the office has provide to police agencies in the province. Abbotsford Police Department received a Hummer in 2011 and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit was provided with a BMW SUV earlier this year.
"(The car) will be used as a tool to bring youth into conversations with officers," said Anton.
"These important conversations will provide members of the Kelowna RCMP a chance to connect with youth and help them build up their resistance to the influences of crime.
"We want youth…to understand that being in a gang may look enticing…but it is a very poor life choice and it usually ends badly."
When asked whether the fancy car may illustrate the luxury of gang life, Kelowna RCMP Superintendent Nick Romanchuk said education will be important to get the proper message across.
"I think there are a number of messages that could be received," said Romanchuk.
"But the message we're hoping to convey is: That was a car that an alleged gangster owned, but was taken away from him through the legal processes that are available to the police and to the province."
The Kelowna RCMP have access to the car for the next two years. They plan to show off the new ride at community events, such as this weekend's Keloha festival.