Charges laid by Shawnigan Lake RCMP in ATV thefts

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ATV patrols by Shawnigan Lake RCMP members Saturday afternoon uncovered more about an Arctic Cat quad that appeared to have been involved in a collision.

Police subsequently discovered the ATV had been reported stolen to North Cowichan-Duncan RCMP on June 19.

"We try to over the summer months to patrol the different hiking trails and remote areas,'' said Shawnigan Lake RCMP Cpl. Jason Kerr. "There's getting to be a lot of mixed use.

"It's sort of a recreational area between the lake and people doing stuff in the backwoods.''

While trying to maintain a semblance of order in those areas, "most are pretty respectful,'' Kerr said. "Most we don't have any issues with. The biggest thing is education.''

Patrols were being conducted in the Quarry recreation area when police encountered the ATV with front-end damage. A 41-year-old male was seen in the vicinity as the scene was being investigated, but claimed to know nothing about the ATV.

A witness was located who identified the male as the driver of the ATV. The man was arrested for possession of stolen property, but did not comply with officers' instructions and had to be physically controlled, resulting in an additional charge of resisting arrest.

The man was released on a promise to appear and will face a court date in September.

The story didn't end there. Police encountered a Ford Ranger truck with an ATV in the box at a checkstop that same evening around 11 p.m.

Deficiencies were discovered with the vehicle's mechanical state and the 30-year-old male's driver's license.

The driver of the truck told police it belonged to a friend and he was just driving it. It was confirmed the truck belonged to the 41-year-old arrested earlier in the day.

The second ATV was reported stolen to Nanaimo RCMP on July 16 and the driver from the Bowser area was arrested for possession of stolen property.

A search of the truck uncovered other stolen items, including a laptop, cellphones, chargers. motorbike helmets and clothing. The items had been reported stolen earlier in the day from two cars in the parking lot for Trans-Canada Trail access off Sooke Lake Road.

"People should not be leaving their stuff in vehicles,'' advised Kerr.

In the box of the truck, 50 feet of copper cable was found that had been stolen from an industrial site in the Shawnigan Lake area. That theft was reported to police when employees returned to work the next day.

The truck was ordered off the road by police due to its poor mechanical state.


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