Media Releases

Over the past two days, the Criminal Investigation Team of the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) and the Saanich Police Financial Crimes Section have made a series of arrests.

The investigation started over a year ago when two witnesses arrived at the Saanich Police front counter to seek information. This led to the Saanich Police Financial Crimes starting an investigation. Given it was found to be an investment related fraud, a request for assistance was made to the B.C. Securities Commission.

The original allegations included obtaining money from investors for what was thought to be a legitimate investment. The money then appears to have been converted to personal use. The total value of the frauds is unknown but believed in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As a result of the investigation by the BCSC Criminal Investigation Team, warrants for three suspects were obtained.  The three suspects arrested by the Saanich Police and BCSC Investigators were Ralph Kelly, 46yrs, a Colwood resident; Garrett Campbell, 30yrs, a Colwood resident; Frank Joseph Pecorelli, 33yrs, a Saanich resident.

Multiple charges have been recommended including Fraud Over $5000.00 and various Securities Act violations.

The Saanich Police are seeking further victims or witnesses in relation to this investigation. If you have invested money, or know somebody who has, with any of the suspects and feel you may have been a victim of a fraud, you are encouraged to contact the Saanich Police Financial Crimes Section at 250-475-4321.

The Saanich Police would like to thank the BCSC Criminal Investigative Team for their assistance in bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion. Learn how to avoid investment fraud at the BCSC investor education website www.investright.org.

 

10-4509

Yesterday, two Saanich Police Patrol officers, investigating a threats complaint, uncovered a marihuana grow operation and recovered a firearm.

Investigators went to a residence in the 2600 block of Florence Lake Road in Langford to try and locate a suspect in a threats investigation. When going to knock on the door officers saw several things that were consistent with a marihuana grow operation inside the residence. Included in these observations, was an overwhelming odour of marihuana around the residence.

When nobody was home, the officers left and as they were driving away recognized the suspect in a truck travelling in the other direction. The truck, a black Ford F-350, was stopped on Florence Lake road and the passenger was arrested as a result of the threats investigation.

Upon searching the truck, a long-barrelled hunting type rifle, a Savage .270, was located. This led to the driver of the truck being arrested as well. Police database checks showed that the driver, a 27 year old Saanich resident, was prohibited from possessing any firearms as a result of a court order.

The passenger, a 22 year old Langford resident, was arrested for Uttering Threats and held in custody to appear in Provincial court sometime today.

Information about the suspected marihuana grow operation was shared with the Westshore RCMP Street Crime Unit. Later in the day a search warrant was executed at the residence and a 241 plant marihuana grow operation was found inside along with a quantity of dried marihuana.

The investigation continues and further charges including drug and firearms offences are being contemplated.

11-8102

On April 1st, at about 7:30 am, callers contacted the Saanich Police about a young male dancing in the street in the rain at Pomona Way near Ash Road.

Witnesses observed a young male exit his silver BMW on Pomona Way and begin dancing and acting in a strange manner. He then proceeded to lie down also in the middle of the road, despite the rain.

When Patrol officers arrived they found the male back inside his vehicle with his bare feet sticking out the driver’s window getting wet listening to music. When questioned by officers, he became agitated and upset.

One of the officers who responded was a Drug Impaired Driving Expert. He conducted a physical assessment of the driver and his ability to operate a vehicle. The results did not prove the driver was intoxicated.

Patrol officers then conducted a search of the BMW and located 48 tablets of ecstasy. The driver was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance.

The driver was identified as Joel Toevs, a 31 year old Saanich resident, who was found to be bound by a Conditional Sentence Order for past convictions. Toevs was also bound by a Probation Order.

Toevs was held in custody and appeared by Telebail before a Justice of the Peace and remanded to appear before a Provincial Court Judge yesterday. He was then further remanded until April 11th.

11-6808

On Friday, April 8th, near the intersection of Quadra and Mckenzie, a male was found on the ground bleeding and in a semi-conscious state.

Saanich Police Patrol officers responded to the Esso Sation at Quadra and McKenzie at approximately 10pm after receiving reports of a male down. Upon arriving a male was found bleeding from the mouth and gurgling. BC Ambulance Service was called to the scene and the male was transported to the hospital.

Patrol officers at the scene spoke to witnesses and determined that there had been some kind of altercation moments before. This led to the victim being kicked to the ground and striking his head. Two males were seen running away north bound on Quadra street from McKenzie ave.

A police service dog was deployed into the area in an attempt to track the suspects. Unfortunately, no suspects were located.

The victim sustained serious head injuries requiring hospitalization.

Investigators are seeking information or witnesses to this incident. If you know anything about this assault please contact the Saanich Police and ask for Cst. Brad Brajcich at 250-475-4321.

The Police Services Division of the Solicitor General’s Ministry has recently released a crime trends report for the years 2000-2009.

The results show that significant reductions have been achieved in Saanich in break-in related offences. These include all break-ins to residences and buildings on private property but does not include commercial break-ins.

Statistics:

2000-2009 549 break-ins (average)

2010 374 break-ins

Reduction:    32%

The Saanich Police approach to intelligence led, community based policing supported by integrated units targeting prolific offenders has helped reduce these offences. Since the creation of the Regional Crime Unit in 2007, the numbers of break-ins has reduced significantly on average year over year.

Approximately 20% of homes in Saanich are involved in the Block Watch program which has proven results in reducing property offences. Saanich has 7700 homes and 449 blocks presently enrolled in the program.

Statistics show that a person living on a Block Watch street is three times less likely to be broken into than a residence on another block. The program has also shown to increase citizen engagement both within the community and with their police service.

If you are interested in participating in the Block Watch program, the next information session is April 19th.  Please check out the Block Watch link on the Saanich Police web page or contact the Block Watch line at 250-475-4365.

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