Penticton police officers deal with double the case load compared to every other B.C. jurisdiction. They are getting burned out and frustrated, said Supt. Brian Hunter to city council Feb. 2, 2021. (Western News file photo)

Penticton police officers deal with double the case load compared to every other B.C. jurisdiction. They are getting burned out and frustrated, said Supt. Brian Hunter to city council Feb. 2, 2021. (Western News file photo)

Drugs, guns, cash and resisting arrest: Two weeks in the life of a Penticton cop

Penticton RCMP detail recent rash of crime, dangerous behavior

Penticton police officers are speaking out after seeing a sharp increase in drugs and firearms offences in the city since the start of the year.

Many suspects are also taking risks to avoid arrest causing an unsafe environment for both officers and the public, according to Penticton RCMP.

RCMP Const. James Grandy said while it’s unusual for the police to release such detailed reports of their interactions, he thinks it’s important the public knows what they are dealing with.

“As a result of several serious incidents occurring in January alone, we want to educate the public about what their local front-line officers are having to handle, and why sometimes we’re unable to respond in a timely fashion to more routine investigations,” said Grandy. “It’s not routine for us to provide summaries of files on a regular basis. However, in this case, given the severity of many of these incidents, we believe it’s important the public is aware.”

READ MORE: Penticton industrial area business owners overwhelmed by ‘incessant’ crime: survey

The following excerpts are examples of police encounters within a two week period in January:

Patrols yield drugs

A Penticton officer conducted a vehicle stop Jan. 18 after observing what appeared to be a drug transaction. The officer conducted an investigation and arrested the sole occupant of the vehicle. A search recovered suspected fentanyl, methamphetamine, MDMA, and a quantity of cash.

Suspects flee, use dog as weapon

Penticton officers responded to a report of a home invasion Jan. 24. Officers located the suspect vehicle which was confirmed as being stolen. A traffic stop was attempted; however, the vehicle stopped for a moment before speeding away. The vehicle was located in the south end of Penticton unoccupied.

Police later located the suspects. The suspects attempted to turn their dog on one of the officers, and only one of the suspects was arrested. A search of the vehicle located significant amounts of cannabis, meth and cash. One officer was injured during the incident.

Multiple assaults, drugs and ammunition seized

On Jan. 24 officers in Penticton responded to a report of a disturbance on Main Street. They determined that one person had been assaulted with bear spray and others had been physically assaulted. All parties were uncooperative with the police investigation, however officers searched the area and located an abandoned jacket containing suspected heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and ammunition for a .22 calibre firearm.

Fled from officers in stolen vehicle

Also on Jan. 24, a Penticton officer conducting patrols in the downtown core observed a vehicle travelling at nearly 100 km/h. The driver attempted to evade police and then subsequently lost control and crashed. Officers combed the area and were able to locate a male suspect by following his footprints in the fresh snow. A 33-year-old Penticton resident was taken into custody. The investigation determined the vehicle was stolen, and the man was breaching his court imposed conditions.

Drugs and handgun seized

On Jan. 29 officers received a report of a suspicious vehicle in the downtown core of Penticton. After pulling the vehicle over, police determined the two occupants were in possession of controlled substances and both were arrested. A search incidental to the arrest located what police suspect to be fentanyl, methamphetamine, magic mushrooms, and a .38 Special handgun. The two men arrested are well known to police.

Causing a disturbance, weapons possession

Also on Jan. 29, Penticton officers responded to a disturbance, and located a young man that appeared to be under the influence of illicit drugs. The man was arrested for causing a disturbance, and a search involved with his arrest located three firearms, a club with nails, and suspected methamphetamine.

Passed out in vehicle with shotgun

On Feb. 1 an officer was conducting patrols in the West Bench area of Penticton. He noticed a car with a male passenger sleeping behind the wheel. The officer believed the vehicle was the same vehicle that had fled from members previously.

The officer requested back-up before approaching the man. As they approached, the man woke, refused to comply with officers, started the vehicle and reversed into a police vehicle.

The officers were able to turn the vehicle off, and remove him from the car, as he attempted to escape. As the vehicle was quickly reversing, one of the officers injured his arm. What the officer’s didn’t realize until later, was a loaded shotgun had been laying next to the man.

READ MORE: Penticton officer injured by the vehicle of an armed man attempting to flee police

“The above incidents should demonstrate to the public the daily proactive policing being carried out by our officers,” said Grandy. “Our officers know what to look for, and when they see something that doesn’t look right, they take action, which often results in significant seizures of drugs and weapons off our streets.”

For each of these cases, reports have been submitted to the BC Prosecution Service for their consideration of charges ranging from trafficking in controlled substances, weapons and firearms possession, flight from, and assault of peace officers.

Anyone with information about crimes in the community are encouraged to contact their local RCMP detachment; or, if they wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

READ MORE: Penticton’s RCMP caseload ‘unsustainable,’ says Superintendent



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CrimeRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shuswap Adventure Girl Sarah Tokarek has a particular passion for hiking trails around Blind Bay and the South Shuswap. (Contributed)
Shuswap mom helps others find their own outdoor adventures

Sarah Tokarek is Shuswap Adventure Girl, an online trail guide for the region

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

Salmon Arm Council will be considering on March 10, 2021 approval of the placing of a notice warning of building bylaw infractions on a local property. (File photo)
City of Salmon Arm takes action on reported building bylaw infractions

If final approval given by council, notice will alert prospective buyers to outstanding issues

The owner of this property at 2240 Highway 97B SE would like to subdivide the property to create a residence for her son so they can keep the farm going for the next generation. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Salmon Arm farm owner requests subdivision of land for family member

Creating two lots would mean son could help keep the farm productive

The Salmon Arm Fire Department responds to a report of thick smoke coming the backyard of a residence off Fifth Avenuse SE on the morning of March 3. Fire chief Brad Shirley notes that burning yard waste on lots under .99 of an acre is not permitted. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm residents reminded to resist temptation to burn yard waste

Firefighters respond to a call in city March 3 involving wet leaves, yard waste best taken to dump

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

A protest has been planned for March 5, 2020 over Penticton council’s decision to reject an application from BC Housing to keep an emergency winter shelter open over a year longer than originally planned. (Jesse Day - Western News)
‘Bring your tent’: Protest planned in Penticton’s Gyro Park over winter shelter closure

Protesters plan to show council ‘what the result of their decision will look like’

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
EDITORIAL: Heightened tension over face masks

Incidents of anger and conflicts over mandated masks happening too frequently

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki responded to BC Housing minster David Eby’s remarks that the city has put themselves at risk of creating a tent city Wednesday, March 3, 2020. (Western News file photo)
Penticton mayor calls out BC Housing minister for ‘irresponsible fear-mongering’

Council recently rejected BC Housing’s request to keep a winter shelter open longer than first planned

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

Most Read