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Crime trends, notable files: Williams Lake’s new RCMP inspector gives update

Calls are down slightly, assaults, robberies, break and enters are up
Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Robert Lake speaks to council Aug. 29. (Screen shot taken from council meeting)

Williams Lake’s new RCMP inspector introduced himself to city council last week and presented a report highlighting local crime trends and notable files over the last six months.

“Excellent work is being done by the detachment for this community,” said Insp. Robert Lake, IOC detachment commander during a presentation to council Tuesday, Aug. 29.

Lake highlighted the efforts of local officers who launched an investigation into stolen property at a residence on Paradise Drive in 150 Mile House recently. A search warrant was executed and evidence was found to suggest the property may have been being used as a chop shop.

In that case four people were arrested, over 15 vehicles were seized from the residence, and stolen property accounted for a combined value over $2 million.

“That is just one file of note, there are several.”

Lake hinted that he would like to eventually discuss “increased boots on the ground” for the detachment with council at some point, and told council he was reviewing other agencies’ mandates to ensure Williams Lake officers are free to focus their work as frontline officers, and on proactive measures, and therefore reducing crime in the community.

Councillors thanked Lake for his report, and his communication, and welcomed him to the community.

Coun. Scott Nelson also encouraged Lake to review internal reports to learn council’s stance on prolific offenders.

Boehm said she was grateful to be receiving Lake’s report.

The city has been without steady leadership at the detachment since Insp. Jeff Pelley left in 2021, after having served the community for five years.

Below is information from Lake’s report.

Crime Trend Reporting

Lake said there have been 5,727 calls for service in the Williams Lake jurisdiction from January 1, 2023 to July 31, 2023. Of those calls, 4,240 (or 74 per cent) of them have been in the city limits of Williams Lake, while 1,487 calls (26 per cent) have been to the rural areas within the jurisdiction. Overall, this is a decrease of 204 calls (or 3.44 per cent) for service compared to 2022.

The following trends have been outlined pertaining to offences regarding calls for service and includes any even that was deemed to be unfounded, Lake noted.

• Persons offences overall have decreased with 408 calls for service in 2023 and 426 calls for service in 2022; a decrease of 4.23 per cent.

• Assault with weapon or causing bodily harm offences have increased with 41 offences in 2023

and 34 offences in 2022; an increase of 20.59 per cent.

• Assaults have increased with 241 offences in 2023 and 238 offences in 2022; an increase of

1.26 per cent.

• Robbery offences have increased with nine offences in 2023 and six offences in 2022; an increase of

50 per cent.

• CDSA offences overall have decreased with 43 offences in 2023 and 46 offences in 2022; a

decrease of 6.52 per cent.

• CDSA drug trafficking offences have increased with 23 offences in 2023 and eight offences in 2022; an increase of 187.50 per cent.

• CDSA drug possession offences have decreased with 18 offences in 2023 and 36 offences in

2022; a decreased of 50 per cent

• Property offences overall have decreased with 824 calls for service in 2023 and 883 calls for

service in 2022; a decrease of 6.68 per cent.

• Mischief offences have decreased with 259 offences in 2023 and 295 offences in 2022; a

decrease of 12.20 per cent.

• Auto and truck theft has decreased with 31 offences in 2023 and 53 offences in 2022; a decrease of 41.51 per cent.

• Theft from motor vehicles have increased with 95 offences in 2023 and 78 offences in 2022; an

increase of 21.79 per cent.

• Fraud offences have decreased with 90 offences in 2023 and 127 offences in 2022; a decrease

of 29.13 per cent.

• Break and enter to businesses have increased with 45 offences in 2023 and 31 offences in 2022;

an increase of 45.16 per cent.

• Break and enter to residences have increased with 28 offences in 2023 and 26 offences in 2022; an increase of 7.69 per cent.

• Collisions have decreased with 143 incidents in 2023 and 166 incidents in 2022; a decrease of

13.86 per cent.

• Impaired offences have decreased with 97 offences in 2023 and 108 offences in 2022.; a

decrease of 10.19 per cent.

Investigations and convictions of interest identified for mayor and council:

• Investigation by Cariboo-Chilcotin Crime Reduction Unit (CC-CRU) resulted in the arrest of a male subject for PPT, a loaded firearm, and substantial amount of cash.

Grounds were developed to detained the SOC and the driver/RO of the vehicle. A search incidental to arrest yielded approximately $30, 000 in large denomination, crystal methamphetamine, 10 gallons of suspect GHB and a loaded shotgun.

• Search warrant of a residence yielded a loaded and fully automatic Glock 17 handgun and a large seizure of drugs:

- 107 grams of MDMA(Ecstasy);

- 240 grams of Fentanyl;

- 1438 grams of Methamphetamine; and

- $16,730 in Canadian currency was seized and to be forfeited as proceeds of crime.

As a result of the investigation charges have been sworn on two PTEP targets.

• Search warrant of a residence yielded three loaded firearms used in the commission of an offence. One

of the firearms was deemed prohibited. The investigation is ongoing.

• As the result of a proactive vehicle stop the following drugs were seized:

- 39 grams of Fentanyl;

- 28 grams of Cocaine;

- 28 grams of Methamphetamine;

- 33 pills of hydromorphone; and

- 332 pills of Oxycodone.

Charges are to be recommended against a local PTEP target.

• Const. Gelowitz conducted a traffic stop of a female subject. A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of small amount of suspected methamphetamine from front passenger seat, a 9mm handgun with a round in the chamber located behind a factory panel, and additional ammunition located in a natural void in the engine compartment.

Also seized was a pill container with unknown pills, numerous knives, and two cans of pepper


• Williams Lake GIS and Cariboo-Chilcotin Crime Recution Unit arrested a female PTEP (Provincial Tactical

Enforcement Priority) target for trafficking. Three ounces of CDSA seized plus pills. Search warrant

for residence executed. The subject and another female suspect were stopped in a vehicle and arrested after a hand-to-hand deal was observed. A search of female subject’s purse yielded 33 hydromorphone pills and $3,000 cash. Lake said the vehicle contained evidence of trafficking such as scales and bags.

• A traffic stop was conducted on Highway 97 resulting in a significant cocaine and GHB seizure.

Two passengers in the vehicle were identified. A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of illicit cannabis (24.4g), small amount of cash ($2,415), 513g of cocaine, and 10L of GHB.

Street value of cocaine to be approximately $51,300.

Street value of GHB to be approximately $20,000.

• Warrant executed at two rooms (360, 238) at the Slumber Lodge Motel after trafficking

behaviour was consistently observed. CCRU and general duty members executed the warrants. In a room members arrested several subjects known to police and recovered a disassembled .22 revolver, and $300 as well as army fatigues stolen recently from the Sandman Inn. In another room officers located two ounces of meth, cocaine and fentanyl, a replica pistol, scales and $3,060.

• Const. Gelowitz stopped a vehicle with a Provincial Tactical Enforcement Priority (PTEP) target, prohibited driver, $8,000 cash, 200 unstamped cigarettes, small amounts of cocaine and meth.

Lake said the driver plus two passengers have significant criminal history including drug trafficking. One

subject was found to be prohibited from driving in B.C. and was arrested for the same. A

speciality drug dog was deployed who provided an indication. All three occupants were arrested. A

second subject was found to have a significant amount of cash on him ($7,970). A search of the

vehicle yielded approximately 200 unstamped cigarettes and a small amount of suspected

cocaine and meth. Cash was seized to pursue civil forfeiture.

Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

I began my journalism career in daily and weekly newspapers in Alberta.
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