Port Alberni RCMP members answered 170 calls over the May long weekend, ranging from a fatal vehicle accident to reports of a man with a gun on First Avenue, as well as trailer thefts.
Officers caught several impaired drivers and prohibited drivers, taking them off the roads. Members responded to 170 calls for service between Friday night through Monday night, according to Port Alberni RCMP media liaison officer Cpl. Amelia Hayden.
At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, Port Alberni RCMP responded to a theft from vehicle in which a car parked overnight in an underground parking area in the 3800-block of 10th Avenue was broken into. Two backpacks, including a woman’s wallet and identification, were amongst the items stolen from the car. One of the woman’s credit cards had been used in a nearby store. Police were able to identify and later arrest the man responsible. The man was to appear in court on May 22.
The stolen backpacks were recovered and returned to their rightful owners. “Vehicle owners are reminded to keep vehicles locked and to remove all personal belongings to help prevent theft from vehicles,” Hayden said.
At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, RCMP responded to a report of a man pointing a long gun on First Avenue. Several members patrolled the area and a man believed to be the subject of the complaint was located a short distance away. An Airsoft gun, a replica weapon that fires plastic BBs, was recovered and seized.
“Police would like to remind the public that all guns are treated as real,” Hayden said.
Late Saturday night, police responded to a call about a single vehicle accident on the Forest Service Road near Stirling Arm Road at Sproat Lake. A 2006 Ford F250 had left the road and one of the occupants died as a result of the accident. Two others received minor injuries.
Thieves also targeted travel trailers and motorhomes over the weekend.
On Saturday, the RCMP received a report that a 28-foot Topaz trailer had been stolen from outside the owner’s residence in the 5100-block of Heaslip Road sometime between 1–6 a.m. A large vehicle would have been required to tow it away. The trailer was later recovered in Parksville and returned to its rightful owner.
Sometime in the early morning hours of Monday, May 21, a travel trailer parked in its owner’s driveway in the 3900-block of Fifth Avenue was broken into. A window was broken to gain access and the trailer rummaged through. The unlocked towing vehicle was also entered and personal belongings were stolen.
“Luckily for the owner, the stolen property was recovered a short distance away,” Hayden said. “A concerned neighbour had seen a suspicious man with a black hoodie and a black back pack jumping the fence and called out to him enquiring what he was doing. The man fled on foot, dropping the stolen property.“
At approximately 10:30 a.m. Monday morning, a man entered an unlocked motorhome behind a residence in the 4800-block of Bute Street and stole several items. The owner observed the man exiting the motorhome and gave chase. The suspect fled and the owner recovered their belongings.
Anyone with information on those responsible for any of these crimes is asked to contact Port Alberni RCMP at 250-723-2424 or Alberni Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).