A trio of alleged thieves with a unique idea of efficient Christmas shopping have been caught just two weeks into the new year.
David Bourque, 35, his wife Lisa Marie Bourque, 27, and Timothy John Carrod, 40, are the first three suspects to be charged in conjunction with a large crime spree that saw five people at a McIver Road residence arrested and a half-dozen vehicles seized.
The group is alleged to have been stealing trucks, including a Doge Ram 3500 truck worth $80,000 and classic yellow 1969 Chevy pickup, and ramming them into storefronts in order to steal everything from car parts to computers and clothes.
And the brazen attacks did not stop when police turned a spotlight on their nefarious deeds.
On Dec. 10, Kelowna RCMP went to the public asking for assistance on the case after the Sears in West Kelowna was hit and the thieves left a fender of one truck behind.
Police had been called to a hit-and-run crash on Old Okanagan Highway near Byland Road around midnight after a black pickup was spotted smashing into a sign near the Sears store and driving off without its lights on. A few minutes later, a commercial alarm alerted the officers to the theft at the store, which was determined to include four LED television sets and two vacuum cleaners, a total of $3700 of merchandise.
The same black, crew-cab pickup was then reported to be involved in a second store robbery at a clothing shop called Open Road Store at 2330 Highway 97 South four hours later. The truck was used to smash the front of the store in so the suspects could remove piles of clothes from inside.
When the night was through, the crew had left the tailgate from the truck behind and police ascertained it came from a truck stolen from a Sumac Road home in late November.
Publicity or not, and knowing full well the police were on to their modus operandi, the crew kept up the pace, proceeding to unleash a wild crime spree over the Christmas shopping period, allegedly stealing computers and iPads from Simply Computing in Kelowna and West Kelowna, hitting Lordco and The Source, and using that $80,000 truck to try their method on Best Buy.
The merchandise and vehicles stolen and tallied to date have police pegging their path of destruction at a total of $300,000 in goods; although, the loss of business over the holiday retail rush would bring the total cost much higher for the shop owners involved.
Investigators from the Crime Reduction Special Enforcement Teams were finally able to crack the case after a break-in at Simply Computing two days before Christmas revealed one suspect’s identity.
A white Ford F350 stolen from Orchard Ford was used to smash in the front of the store and the vehicle was ditched on the railway tracks at the base of Dilworth Mountain, and one suspect who fled the scene on foot was identified and traced to the McIver Road home.
Police are still narrowing down the list of possible suspects and charges and say more charges may be recommended against those already arrested and charged. For now, the three individuals are facing various counts of possession of stolen property and David Bourque also facing a break and enter charge.