Kelowna Mounties on the look-out for man with smoking package

"People are just more perceptive to suspicious packages with the way things are nowadays," he said.

What was rumoured to be a 'smoking box' was found in Sears Wednesday

Amanda Brownschlaigle-Miller was working her third day at Metalsmiths in Orchard Park shopping centre Wednesday, when she read a text message from her friend that said there was a fire at Sears on the other side of the mall.

“It was about 1:45 p.m., and she told me the store had been shut down because of a fire,” she said, noting that signs to that effect had gone up as doors were shuttered.

Then, an hour later, all mall staff were given the order to lock up and file outside, along with all of the customers who were shopping.

It wasn’t the easiest task to herd shoppers out, with so little information, said Riley Hannan of EB Games. But, he managed, and by the time he found his way outside where hundreds of other mall employees were gathered, he learned it was a bomb threat.

That sparked a bit of deja vu, given he had already gone through the process of a bomb threat last year.

“At least it’s warm out this time,” he joked, as helicopters buzzed overhead.

Key holders at mall stores have to linger as police work to figure out what’s what.

City buses were rolled in, just in case anybody needed to take a break somewhere air conditioned and covered, but other than that they were on their own.

Many were  there until the RCMP  bomb crew from Vancouver arrived at just after 7 p.m..

What they discovered, said Cpl. Joe Duncan, was that the package was indeed “suspicious.”

“There were no explosives in it, but there were incendiaries,” he said.

“It was found by a store employee when it was on fire, and they put it out, but when our members attended they looked at it and called in the explosive unit.”

They arrived and agreed that it looked like a problem.

“They said it’s something very suspicious and destroyed it,” he said.

So, what is suspicious?

That question will remain unanswered. All Duncan could confirm is that the smoking package wasn’t explosive in nature.

While the suspicious non-bomb kept police in Kelowna busy, just a couple of hours away in Kamloops a similar scenario was rolling out.

Threatening calls to a Kamloops elementary—along with other  schools across the province—  from a blocked source prompted school officials to bus children out of the vicinity.

Add to that recent bomb fears at Kelowna’s armoury as well as a recent scare at a Penticton elementary school, one might think the Interior has gone a little bomb-threat crazy.

Not so, said Duncan.

“People   are just more perceptive to suspicious packages with the way things are nowadays,” he said.

“You just have to watch the national news, or CNN to see why they are more concerned.”

In the meantime, they’re on the lookout for the person who caused the problem with his smoking package.

Kelowna RCMP is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the person in the photos.

The suspect is described as:

·         Caucasian

·         5’9 – 6’0 (175 cm to 182 cm)

·         Average build

·         Wearing glasses

·         Dark jacket

·         Dark baseball cap with white lettering on the front

·         Dark backpack

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300. Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.


Just Posted

Men caught on video stealing bait car in Kelowna

Two men stole a bait car in Kelowna

More affordable housing for seniors opens in Kelowna

Third and final building at the Apple Valley complex on Benvoulin Road opens

Truck smashes into multiple parked vehicles in Kelowna

The driver of a truck was taken to hospital with undetermined injuries

Kelowna writer of controversial Conservative Facebook post apologizes

Writer suggested Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan got his job because of affirmative action

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Federal fall update expected to offer more support for struggling news industry

Ottawa committed $50 million over five years for local journalism in ‘underserved communities’ last budget

UK’s May appeals to public on Brexit, braces for more blows

British Prime Minister Theresa May answered questions from callers on a radio phone-in, the day after she vowed to stay in office

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

$136M in transit funding coming to B.C.

The announcement was made at the BC Transit yard in Langford on Friday morning

Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees

Plaque installed in Prince Rupert to honour the memory of Shotaro Shimizu

Two B.C. police officers, held in Cuba for months, cleared of sex assault allegations

Port Moody Const. Jordan Long and Vancouver Const. Mark Simms have been in Cuba since March

Sunrise ceremony at B.C. legislature honours Louis Riel

Nov. 16 marks the 133rd anniversary of the Métis leader’s death

California wildfire death toll hits 63

Sheriff says hundreds still missing in nation’s deadliest wildfire

Most Read