Media Releases

On March 30, 2020, Saanich Police and Fire Departments responded to a series of fires overnight in the area of Camosun College on Landsdowne Road in Oak Bay. The most serious fire involved three vehicles stored in a maintenance compound at the college, where damage was extensive. The investigation determined that these fires were suspicious in nature, as well as other fires located in the 3100 block of Service Street near Lansdowne Middle School where garbage cans were also set ablaze.

Detectives worked quickly to collect evidence and canvassed the neighbourhood for information. This ultimately led to the identification of a suspect responsible for these fires.

This suspect information was then messaged to the neighboring police departments requesting assistance in locating him. Just before the lunch hour yesterday an officer with the Victoria Police Department recognized the suspect and arrested him near Centennial Square. The suspect was then transported to the Saanich Police Department and held in custody for a tele-bail hearing.

The suspect is a 26 year-old man from Calgary who just arrived in the Victoria area last week. During his time in Victoria he became known to police on a frequent basis.

“The nature and extent of damage of these deliberate fires was significant. Detectives worked quickly to piece together the events before, during and after the fire to positively identify a suspect. We really appreciate the quick actions of the Victoria Police in locating and making the arrest, as well as the public for coming forward with information.”

Detectives are still seeking assistance from the public to determine the travels of the suspect prior to the fire. If you have any information or video that may have captured the suspect wearing this red jacket between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. in the area surrounding Camosun College at Landsdowne please contact Saanich Police at 250-475-4321.

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Cst. Markus Anastasiades

Public Information and Communications Officer

A 32-year-old man is facing charges of possession weapon for a dangerous purpose and possession of a controlled substance yesterday after an arrest on a BC Transit bus.

On March 31, 2020, at approximately 3:00 p.m. a witness observed a man with a gun tucked into the waistband of his pants. The witness called police as the man then got on a transit bus on Shelbourne Street and started heading south.  Saanich Police notified BC Transit and they were able to stop the bus near Hillside Mall in Victoria. The man was quickly identified and safely taken into custody. The gun was located in his waistband and was determined to be a black pellet gun that imitated a handgun. A small quantity of drugs was also located on him.

“Even though the weapon in this instance was a pellet gun, investigating officers were satisfied that this person carried it in a public place and for the purpose of committing an offence,” said Cst. Anastasiades. “It was the quick actions of all involved in this file that helped it arrive at a successful conclusion.”

The man was later released from custody with a court date set in Victoria.

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The Saanich Police would like to remind everyone that COVID-19 is serious, it affects people of all ages, and it is a global pandemic.

We were very concerned to see people gathering at parks in Saanich over the week-end, as they disregarded the posted signs indicating they were closed. We can and must do better.

There is growing concern that young people can suffer serious health impacts if they contract the virus, not to mention the devastating impacts associated to the spread of the virus from them to others who may be more at-risk.

We are following the direction and orders of the Provincial Health Officer and are reminding everyone of the following:

  1. Social Distancing must be followed, as it is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.

  2. Currently, ALL playgrounds in Saanich are CLOSED and people are reminded to avoid them. They are not safe places for you or your families to gather at.

  3. In addition, all outdoor facilities such as lacrosse boxes, tennis courts, basket and sports courts are also now closed.

We all need to do our part to get through this together. These measures may seem inconvenient, however they are temporary and will remain in place until further direction is provided.

Saanich Police and Fire Departments responded to a series of fires overnight in the area of Camosun College. The most serious fire involved three vehicles stored ina maintenance compound at Lansdowne campus of Camosun College. This fire is actually within the Municipality of Oak Bay, and the damage is extensive.

Saanich fire investigators and Saanich Police Detectives are working on this case.

Early investigation has determined the fire to be suspicious in nature. Further reports were received of other fires in the 3100 block of Service Street near Lansdowne Middle School. Garbage cans were set ablaze, and police are seeking assistance from any persons who may have encountered or witnessed anything suspicious in the area between approximately 5 am and 7 am this morning.

Investigators believe the suspect(s) may have been walking through the area during the commission of the offences. Anyone with security cameras or doorbell cameras are requested to review their footage to see if persons of interest could be identified. 

The area includes homes in the Camosun College, North Dairy, and LansdowneSchool area. Given the early morning hour, investigators believe pedestrian traffic in the area would be minimal.

 

The Saanich Police recognizes the challenging times in our community. The safety of our residents and personnel remain the top priority of the Saanich Police. 

To ensure the safety of the public and our personnel, our front counter service will be unavailable until such time the British Columbia Provincial Health Officer provides direction that would deem this service safe again. This will be effective 6pm on March 20, 2020. 

As part of our efforts to ensure that we are able to maintain operational readiness during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking members of the public to utilize our non-emergency line. 

To Report an Incident: 

  • To report an emergency or a crime in progress, always call 9-1-1
  • Our non-emergency line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To
    report a non-emergency incident, please call 250-475-4321
  • Should you require an Officer for service, please advise the dispatcher or  officer if you have flu-like symptoms, have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 

“We thank you for your patience and understanding. Our intercom system will remain active at the front doors and our building will be staffed by SPD personnel. Anybody who seeks refuge from an in-progress situation will be granted access,” stated Sgt. Kowalewich. 

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