Media Releases

Saanich Police are investigating a serious hit and run that happened this morning, July 15th, just before 7AM near the intersection of McKenzie Avenue and Shelbourne Street. A blue Dodge Caravan, heading east on McKenzie Avenue, struck a grey Yamaha scooter and a grey Honda Civic both heading west on McKenzie. After striking these vehicles, the 25 year old driver of the Caravan continued east where he struck a telephone pole by the intersection of Larchwood Drive.

The driver abandoned the van at this point and fled on foot down Larchwood Drive and onto Teakwood Road, where police located him a short time later. The driver was arrested and is being investigated for impaired driving offences.

The 20 year old woman driving the scooter was taken to hospital in critical condition. The driver of the Honda suffered only minor injuries and did not require hospitalization.

Collision Analysts are currently on scene and a portion of the intersection is closed while they investigate.  Expect delays in this area, and if possible, take an alternate route.

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Saanich Police responded to a single vehicle crash in the 5400 block of Fowler Road on July 9th. The call came from a homeowner who said that a car had just crashed into their front sunroom/living room. When police arrived at just after 10pm, they found a grey Nisaan Altima halfway into the house, with a 58 year female driver nearby.

“It is very fortunate that the family living in the house were in other areas of the home when the car hit and that no one, including the driver, was injured” said Sgt. Julie Fast, Public Information Officer for Saanich Police.

The driver of the vehicle was arrested at the scene for failing to provide a breath sample. She was also issued a 90 day driving prohibition and her vehicle was impounded for 24 hours.

With summer CounterAttack in full swing, this is a very good reminder of why police and ICBC continue to target impaired drivers. With so many options for getting home safely, such as calling a friend or taxi or taking transit, there is no excuse for driving impaired.

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Vehicle into house 2Vehicle into house

If you have an RV parked on your property, this is an important story to read.

On the night of July 3rd, Saanich Police attended two calls, almost back to back, of an unknown person inside an RV parked on someone’s property. The first call came in at about 10pm from a homeowner in the 3800 block of Douglas Street. They had looked outside their window and saw a naked man by their motorhome. It appeared he was attempting to use their garden hose. The man then entered the motorhome and closed the door.

When we arrived, we found a 21 year old Victoria area man, still naked, inside the RV. Based on the condition of the inside of the RV, it is believed he had been living in it for at least a few days. He was arrested and now faces a charge of Break and Enter.

The second call came in about 30 minutes later from a homeowner in the 4400 block of Wilkinson Road. Earlier in the day he had returned home from a vacation and found the door to his truck camper open. When he looked inside, he saw articles of clothing that didn’t belong to him and it appeared someone had been living in it for a few days. He placed an alarm on the camper which activated later that day, indicating there was movement inside it. That is when he called police.

As with the previous call, when we arrived, we found the camper door closed however in this case, when we attempted to open it, we found that it was being held shut by someone inside. It didn’t take much persuasion to get the man to open the door though, once PSD Hitch started barking from the outside. A 20 year old man from the Victoria area was arrested for Break and Enter. He was also wanted on 6 outstanding warrants.

“These are unusual calls that have reminded us that for those seeking shelter, an RV parked idle on a property, can be appealing as a temporary home. So if you are an RV owner, take the time to frequently check your RV and ensure it is secure and untampered with” said Sgt. Julie Fast, Public Information Officer for Saanich Police.

Both males were held in custody for court appearances on July 4th. Charges are now sworn against 21 year old Randy Cartwright and 20 year old Jesse Juba.

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At a top speed of 7km/hr, the John Deere ride-on lawnmower wouldn’t have been a fast ride for the person who stole it from the Gordon Head Baseball shed at Lambrick Park and drove it to the school yard at Torquay Elementary, where they did donuts in the grass and struck two goal posts. The mower was stolen sometime after the work day on July 9th and was found at the school by district staff early in the morning on July 10th. There was some minor damage to the mower but it was able to be driven, under police escort, back to Lambrick Park and its rightful owner.

John Deere  

Despite the humour behind this release, the person or persons who stole the mower (valued at about $3000) committed both the crimes of theft and mischief. We are committed to solving this crime and are asking if anyone has information on this, to give us a call at 250-475-4321, or to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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It’s been more than 3 years since Lauren Etchells boarded a flight out of Canada with her young daughter Kaydance, her then new partner Marco van der Merwe and their newborn son Marcus. In doing this, Lauren violated a court order intended to protect the rights of Kaydance and her other mother, Tasha Brown.

Shortly after Lauren left Canada with Kaydance, Tasha Brown contacted us and our General Investigative Unit took on the investigation into the parental abduction of Kaydance. Over the course of this file, officers conducted countless interviews, partnered with multiple agencies worldwide, and used innumerable techniques in an effort to locate Kaydance.

While investigators worked on the file from their end, Tasha Brown took to social media and tirelessly engaged in her own search for her daughter. Through each stream of this investigation, we learned that Lauren, along with Kaydance and Marcus, travelled from Canada to England, to France, to the Netherlands, to the Middle East and possibly to Spain and Portugal. At some point, she broke off her relationship with Marco and continued to move about Europe with Kaydance and her son Marcus using their UK passports.

With Lauren’s repeated movement between countries, a Red Notice was published by INTERPOL, which is essentially an international flag that the person is Wanted. This flag is what has brought an end to her flight from justice.

On July 1st, Saanich Police received a call from the RCMP Liaison Office in London, England advising that Lauren, Kaydance, Marcus and Lauren’s parents Brian and Angela Etchells, had been picked up by the States of Jersey Police and Jersey Customs and Immigration Service. The group was spotted landing a 13 foot inflatable dinghy on the shores just south of St. Catherine, Jersey, a small island in the English Channel. When questioned as to their plans, they advised they were holidaying in France and decided to pop over to Jersey for a visit. None of the 5 passengers had passports and it quickly became apparent to officials that their story did not add up.

When the Jersey Police learned of their identities, they believed the group may have been attempting to get to the UK via Jersey in order to avoid passport control on UK soil. The 3 adults, Lauren and her parents, were arrested for offences relating to child neglect and immigration. All 3 have pled guilty in relation to these Jersey charges, with Lauren remaining in custody as a result of a provisional arrest warrant for her extradition to Canada. The 2 children, Kaydance and Marcus, were apprehended and have been placed in foster care while the complexities of this international investigation are worked through.

“We are extremely pleased to report that 4 year old Kaydance has been located and is in the care of the appropriate authorities in Jersey. She is in good health, is happy and appears to have been well cared for” said Sgt. Julie Fast, Public Information Officer for the Saanich Police.

The process of bringing Kaydance and Lauren back to Canada has now begun but it will take time. Our investigators are committed to working through the scope and intricacies of these next steps, and are thankful for the excellent support provided by all our partnering agencies.

With the news that Kaydance has been located, Tasha Brown provided the following message to be shared with those in the community:

“I am extremely grateful to learn that she is in good health and good care.

I am celebrating today. Kaydance is alive, and we know where she is! But I can’t celebrate 100% yet. Not until Kaydance is back in Canada.

It is for this reason that I am spending today with my lawyer, and the various other agencies involved in bringing Kaydance home safely and…SOON!! But there is a lot I still need to do.

For now, I wish to thank some of the people and agencies that have helped, including: Elisabeth Strain and the Saanich Police Department for their devotion to this case, along with Global Affairs Canada and the Central Authorities in Victoria, BC and London, UK. Today would not be happening without these special people.

I am also grateful for the love I received from the friends and family who kept me going during the lowest of lows.

I guess a person can survive on hope. Thank you all for this reminder.

Much love from Tasha Brown”

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**Below is a picture of the dinghy the group landed in Jersey, along with the media release published by the States of Jersey Police**

20190704 St Catherine Boat Photo Higher Res

Media Release from Jersey

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