Off-duty officer nabs offender

Kelowna police are warning residents to not leave valuables in their cars

An RCMP officer recieved copious amounts of stolen property believed to be taken from dozens of vehicles in a Kelowna Mission neighbourhood after arresting a well-known prolific offender who had been prowling the area.

On July 3, just after 4:30 a.m., Kelowna RCMP officers responded to the Sarsons Road area to back-up the off-duty police officer who had nabbed the offender.

The off-duty officer spotted the offender, who is well-known to him, biking and entering into private driveways in the area of Lakeshore Road and Dehart Avenue. The officer confronted the suspect who attempted to flee the area on his bike.

Followed by the officer, the suspect lost control of his bike and fell to the ground. Suspected stolen property spilled onto the roadway from the suspect’s backpack as he scrambled to get to his feet.

The officer, now on foot, performed a takedown, physically apprehending the suspect while he awaited the arrival of the RCMP.

“Following his arrest, our investigators determined that the suspect was also the subject of a probation order with numerous conditions of release, of which he allegedly breached as many as four of those conditions,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “He was found in possession of a bag full of automotive keys, automotive key fobs and alleged break-in tools.”

The suspect, 47-year-old David Martin, remained into police custody over the weekend. Martin is charged with possession of break-in instruments, theft under $5,000, possession of stolen property and breach of his probation. He was remanded by the courts and is expected to appear in court on July 10.

“RCMP have seen a notable increase in the amount of reported theft from motor vehicle incidents in the Central Okanagan,” said O’Donaghey. “All too often, residents continue to leave their wallets inside their unsecured parked vehicles during all hours of the day and night. Thieves are subsequently committing thousands of dollars in frauds, often using the tap feature of credit and debit cards, during the first several hours following the initial theft.”

“The key to avoid becoming a victim of theft and or fraud is to secure your motor vehicle and remove all personal valuables which include wallets, cellular phones, residential and automotive keys, GPS devices and dash cameras,” he said.

RCMP identified the owners of wallets and cellular phones seized during the arrest and continue to make efforts to return additional suspected stolen property to its rightful owners.

If you were the victim of a theft in the area of Sarsons Road, Dehart Road and Lakeshore Road over the weekend, contact the Kelowna detachment at 250-762-3300.