Harbour Ferry Theft and Glass Smash Spree
At approximately 3 a.m. on January 19, Patrol officers were called to the waters off the 400-block of Swift Street for a report that a man had stolen a Harbour Ferry water taxi from the dock and was travelling up the Gorge Waterway.
Officers attended as the stolen Harbour Ferry water taxi changed direction toward the Inner Harbour and appeared to be attempting to flee the area. With the assistance of a nearby Harbour Ferry supervisor of maintenance, officers boarded a separate boat and pursued the stolen Harbour Ferry water taxi. In addition, the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Cape St. James attended, took VicPD officers on board, and worked to resolve the incident.
The officers on the boat with the Harbour Ferry staff member were able to close the distance with the stolen boat. They spoke with the suspect and convinced him to surrender. The officers towed the stolen Harbour Ferry water taxi and the suspect to a dock in the 900-block of Wharf Street where they arrested the suspect without further incident.
The following day, the same man was suspected of causing damage to several Victoria businesses. Officers identified 14 locations that the suspect damaged.
Reports of Sexualized Violence Associated to Downtown Victoria Bar and Grill
On Sunday, January 31, VicPD officers and staff were first alerted to a series of posts on a social network which contained reports of sexualized violence involving an employee of a downtown Victoria bar and grill. VicPD reached out to the operators of the social network page and invited those with information to come forward.
On Monday, February 1, VicPD issued a Community Update, which was posted to our social media channels, and shared with media and community partners, inviting anyone who wished to make a report or who had information about the reports to come forward. Those with information were invited to report through whichever form felt safe to them, whether through the non-emergency line Report Desk, or through the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre or other means. Numerous people came forward with information.
“We have had many people come forward with information, “SVU Detective Sgt. Jan Malinosky said. “Our Investigative Services Division team is working through this information and are connecting with these people to gather more details. This process takes time and we’re asking for patience moving forward. We are here to listen and are hoping to connect with more survivors.”
This investigation is active and ongoing. Updates will be shared as we are able.
Beacon Hill Park Homicide
Shortly after 6 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3, VicPD Patrol officers were called to the south side of Beacon Hill Park, along Dallas Road, for a report of an unresponsive woman. Officers attended, along with BC Emergency Health Services paramedics, and despite providing CPR to the woman, she was confirmed to be deceased. The BC Coroners Service attended and assisted with the investigation.
VicPD’s Major Crime Unit continued the investigation until the woman’s death was determined to be a homicide in early March, at which time the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) was notified. On March 24, VIIMCU investigators, with the assistance of Oak Bay Police, Saanich Police, the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team, and VicPD, conducted additional investigative steps in the area of Fort Street and Foul Bay Road. The investigation remains ongoing.
Drug Traffickers Targeting Shelters
On March 11, Strike Force and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) officers executed a search warrant at a residence in the 4000-block of Orion Place in Saanich, B.C. and on three vehicles. During the search, Strike Force officers located cash as well as amounts of fentanyl and cocaine consistent with drug trafficking.
The arrests come after a month-long investigation which involved investigative techniques and surveillance which tracked the men as they allegedly sold drugs to some of the most marginalized members of our communities at multi-unit residential temporary housing facilities and shelters in VicPD’s jurisdiction.
These arrests come in the midst of the ongoing opioid overdose epidemic in which drugs like fentanyl have killed thousands of British Columbians.
The two men face recommended charges related to drug trafficking.
Armed Man Injured in Officer-Involved Shooting
Shortly before 5:30 a.m. on March 15, Patrol officers were at the Royal Jubilee Hospital for an unrelated call for service when they were alerted to a man at the hospital with a weapon. Officers encountered the man with a weapon and deployed a less-lethal conductive energy weapon. In the course of the incident an officer shot the man.
This file is currently under investigation by VicPD’s Major Crime Unit (MCU). The Independent Investigations Office is investigating the officer-involved shooting.
Women Arrested with Firearm, Loaded Magazine
Shortly after 5:30 a.m. on March 17, Patrol officers were in a parking lot of a multi-unit temporary housing facility in the 100-block of Gorge Road East. They observed a woman wanted on a warrant for failing to attend court in relation to a previous drug trafficking and weapons possession investigation.
Officers arrested the woman a short distance away and searched her following the arrest. They located a heavily modified, assault-style .22 calibre rifle and a magazine loaded with twenty rounds, as well as ammunition for other firearms. A photograph of the weapon and ammunition is below.
The woman was transported to VicPD cells where she was held to await court. The woman faces several firearms-related recommended charges including carrying a concealed weapon, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and possession of a prohibited firearm. This file remains under investigation.
Patrol Officers, Suspect Injured In Arrest
Shortly after 10 a.m. on Monday, March 29, Patrol officers were called to the area of Quadra and Courtney streets for a report of a man breaking into parking meters and parking pay stations. Officers attended and located the suspect, who fled from the officers on foot. The officers caught up to the man near Quadra and Broughton streets, and attempted to take the man into custody. The man refused officers’ verbal commands and then began to fight with them. Officers deployed a conductive energy weapon and oleoresin capsicum spray, but both were ineffective. An ICS K9 team, including PSD Zender, was deployed and assisted in taking the suspect into custody.
The suspect was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect, a Vancouver man, has been the subject of nine additional police calls in the previous three days. He was transported to hospital for a mental health assessment and held there under the Mental Health Act. In addition, he faces recommended charges of resisting arrest. Two officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the incident but were able to complete their shifts.