Chronic offenders continue to plague Port Alberni

RCMP Crime Reduction Unit identifed seven chronic offenders in a four-day period

Chronic offenders continue to plague the Alberni Valley, according to Port Alberni RCMP.

The RCMP’s Crime Reduction Unit was hard at work last week, identifying seven chronic offenders in the community over a four-day period.

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On May 29, one of these chronic property crime offenders was located and arrested in the area of Fourth Avenue and Dunbar Street. The 35-year-old man recently arrived in Port Alberni from another community and is a suspect in several thefts across Vancouver Island, according to an RCMP press release.

The man has been remanded in custody with his next court appearance date on June 20. RCMP are asking that this man be placed on conditions to not reside in Port Alberni.

Only a day after this arrest, another chronic property crime offender was located by the police in the area of Fourth Avenue and Argyle Street. The 30-year-old Port Alberni man ran away to avoid apprehension. Several RCMP members set up quick containment in the area and were able to locate the man hiding in a condemned building. The man was arrested for a recent break and enter.

Of note, this chronic offender’s last conviction and subsequent release was just seven days earlier, when he was released from custody after serving one day for a breach of his probation. When the man was arrested this time, he was once again breaching several court orders.

He has been remanded in custody with his next court appearance on June 13. The RCMP are asking that this man also be placed on conditions to not reside in Port Alberni.

On May 31, Crime Reduction Unit members were conducting surveillance on chronic offenders when they noted a suspicious vehicle. Police tried to conduct a traffic stop with the suspicious vehicle on River Road at Josephine Street. The vehicle fled from police.

Again, quick containment resulted in the vehicle being located shortly after it was abandoned. The vehicle was uninsured and contained stolen property. Security footage allowed the RCMP members to identify the driver. The 45-year-old Port Alberni man, who remains at large, is facing charges of flight from police, breaching a recognizance, possession of stolen property and driving without insurance.

On June 1, the Crime Reduction Unit was conducting surveillance on two suspected drug dealers in the Third Avenue and Melrose Street area, and police were able to interrupt a drug transaction which resulted in four Port Alberni adults being arrested: three men and one woman.

Police seized a significant quantity of cocaine, a vehicle, cash, cell phones and drug trafficking paraphernalia. This investigation also led to the police obtaining a search warrant for a property on Margaret Street, where police seized additional cocaine, cash and drug trafficking paraphernalia. The suspects were released on court documents with a next court appearance date on September 20.

“Chronic offenders continue to plague the Alberni Valley, contributing to the rise in drug and property crime offences in 2018,” said Inspector Brian Hunter, officer in charge of the Port Alberni RCMP in a news release. “The Port Alberni RCMP Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) focus their enforcement efforts toward these chronic offenders in an effort to reduce crime and enhance public safety in the Alberni Valley.”

Hunter encourages the community to become engaged and share information related to drug and property crime offences by calling the RCMP. If people wish to remain anonymous, they can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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