Kelowna Mounties busted a car theft ring earlier this month, yielding countless Criminal Code charges against seven individuals, and the recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen property.
The seven-week project conducted by the Kelowna RCMP Street Enforcement Unit (SEU), was concluded on Oct. 31, but started when a tip came in that a number of stolen vehicles were on a rural property in the 7000 block of Highway 97 in Peachland, said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey in a Friday morning media briefing.
In the wake of that, RCMP recovered several vehicles, mainly Ford pick-up trucks, which had been reported to police as stolen in multiple jurisdictions including; Kelowna, Vernon, West Kelowna, Lee Creek, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, Dawson Creek and Calgary Alberta. 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.
One of the arrests that stood out to Const. Donaghey took place Oct. 31, when 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 found 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.
Six more people are facing charges and altogether they face 32 Criminal Code charges including:
· Twelve counts of possession of stolen property;
· Five counts of drive 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;
· One count of flight from police;
· One count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle;
· One count of theft of a motor vehicle;
· One count of theft under $5,000; &
· One count of theft over $5,000;