An employee of a local hunting store has been arrested for theft of firearms.

Last Thursday, February 2nd, 2012, a long-term employee of a local outdoor store was arrested for internal theft. The stores own internal audit process uncovered the thefts, which were immediately reported to the Saanich Police and the Chief Firearms Officer.

The suspect was the manager of the firearms counter and responsible for the purchasing and sale of firearms. Once the  firearms were stolen, they were then registered so the transactions appeared lawful when scrutinized.

As a result of the theft arrest, a search warrant was executed at a residence in the 4200 block of Shelbourne street, just before midnight February 3rd. Recovered during the search were:

• 159 various firearms

• 400 boxes of ammunition

• Optics

• Fishing rods, reels, compound bow and arrows

The total value of the items seized could be as high as $250,000.00. Investigators believe that they have recovered all the missing firearms. There is no information to suggest that any have made it to the illicit market.

Arrested was a 40 year old Saanich resident with no criminal history. He has been released on a Promise to Appear and an Undertaking with conditions. He has been fully cooperative with detectives throughout the investigation.

This investigation by the Saanich Police detectives and Street Crime Unit is being supported by the RCMP National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST) and the Chief Firearms Officer.

12-2152

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