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RCMP recover record haul of stolen property

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An investigation launched by the RCMP regional crime unit has led to one of the biggest seizures of stolen property on record on southern Vancouver Island.

Four people are facing more than 100 charges related to break-and-enters and vehicle thefts, following an investigation launched in Mill Bay six weeks ago.

"One of the positive aspects of this investigation was how much stolen property investigators were able to return to the original owners," states a Regional Crime Unit press release.

"This was the largest investigation in the four-and-a-half year history on the Regional Crime Unit, in terms of the amount of stolen property recovered and the number of charges laid."

The stolen property recovered include laptops, iPods, GPS devices, digital cameras, cell phone, wallets, purses, ID, jewelry and many other items.

Derek Ernest Fast, 26, a "prolific offender," according to RCMP, became the target of the investigation after RCMP discovered items stolen from the Mill Bay vehicle — along with evidence linking Fast to other crimes — in his girlfriend's vehicle. A search of a residence Fast was seen leaving from also turned up stolen items.

On Nov. 8 West Shore RCMP arrested Robert Joseph Iverson, 34, in connection to a break-in in Langford. Police found evidence linking Iverson with Fast, who was arrested on Nov. 13 in Colwood.

Fast has been charged with 46 counts of criminal offences, including break and enters, theft, possession of stolen property, possession of a prohibited weapon and breach of probation. He remains in custody and is due in Western Communities Courthouse on Dec. 13.

Iverson faces 28 charges of theft, possession of stolen property and offences related to the possession of a firearm. Iverson is also in custody and will appear in court Dec. 20.

Also charged is Fast's girlfriend, Tannya Kathleen Barnes, 27, who faces 28 counts of possession of stolen property and charges related to the possession of a firearm. Barnes has been released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 19.

Iverson's girlfriend, Jennifer Priscilla Hermans, 33, is charged with four counts of possession of stolen property and four counts of breach of probation. She has been released on a promise to appear in Western Communities Courthouse on Jan. 3, 2013.

Charges stem from crimes committed on the West Shore, Ladysmith, Shawnigan Lake, Sooke, Sidney, Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay.

—Goldstream Gazette

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