File photo

File photo

Clearwater RCMP seize trailer after suspicious activity

Submitted by Sgt. G.D. Simpson

October 22

On Friday at about 7:50 p.m., Const. Klassen located a local 35-year-old male in a vehicle on Lodge Drive and Old North Thompson Highway in Clearwater. The constable was aware that this male had an outstanding arrest warrant from Dryden, Ont., for drug trafficking, as well as other charges.

The male was arrested and transported to cells where he spoke to his legal counsel of choice. He was then remanded in custody via a bail hearing and will be transported back to Dryden to deal with his charges.

Later on, Clearwater members attended the residence of another 35-year-old male for the purpose of arresting him on outstanding Ontario warrants, also out of Dryden. Members spoke with his mother who stated he works the night shift and was not home. She also said he would be home at a specific time before heading to work the next day.

Const. Lockwood attended the male’s residence, observed him in the front window and requested him to come out. He was co-operative, exited the building and was arrested on the outstanding warrants. The male was transported to cells where he spoke with duty counsel and was lodged in cells for a bail hearing the next morning. This bail hearing was conducted and the male was also remanded in custody for transport back to Dryden where he will address his outstanding charges as well.

October 23

At 12:30 p.m., Const. Lockwood was making proactive patrols and observed a Black Ford F-150 pull into the Canco Gas station, hauling a longer-style enclosed trailer. A male, later identified as a 49-year-old Osoyoos man, exited the driver seat to pump gas.

Const. Lockwood exited the parking lot, awaiting the departure of the vehicle as the trailer lights were not illuminated. After approximately 20 minutes, the Ford then exited onto Highway 5 heading southbound. The constable initiated a traffic stop.

A 43-year-old female out of Kelowna was now driving, and the male was sitting in the passenger seat. He stated they were coming from Edmonton after picking up the trailer, and noted he needed it to haul a couple “show bikes” to Calgary in the coming weeks. The female did not speak with police.

Const. Lockwood observed the break-away cord on the trailer was not attached – it was broken and not operable. The trailer was towed to a compound and a traffic notice was issued for the trailer to be inspected. The male was polite, then quickly became confrontational.

He claimed to have had a business woman in Vernon line up the trailer for him to get from Edmonton and that the trailer belonged to another male. Queries on the trailer showed it was registered to another unnamed male. It wasn’t locked, but the male wanted to lock it before it went into the locked compound at the tow yard. He was unable to buy any locks at this hour and appeared to be nervous about it.

Const. Lockwood asked to look into the trailer and the male was quick to deny access and said there is no reason as police are being snoopy. The two departed with the male advising he would return the next day with his other truck to retrieve the trailer.

The next day around 1 p.m., Const. Lockwood received a phone call from a local towing company stating that they had received approximately 20 phone calls from the male, who each time would be polite, then get mad, then polite again, attempting to get the trailer back. 

Const. Lockwood spoke with Const. Klassen regarding this incident.

Const. Lockwood learned that a semi-truck was on its way from Edmonton with a flat deck trailer in order to load the inoperable trailer and have it taken to Kamloops. This was not the initial information Const. Lockwood had received from the male passenger.

The tow company then received a call from another unknown male, claiming to be the registered owner. They advised this male that they would only release the trailer to the registered owner. The male then started yelling again at the tow company.

Consts. Lockwood and Klassen attended the tow compound and conducted an inventory search of the trailer. This search was conducted due to all of the indicators of suspicious activity and for public safety. 
Photos were obtained of the trailer inside and out before a search was conducted.

Const. Lockwood untied four knots in the tie strap on the side man door. Upon entry, members observed there to be a large-sized water bath, typically used for the production of Methamphetamine. There was also some chemistry lab glassware, as well as other items pertaining to a drying oven.

The constable called the registered owner to advise him that the trailer was being seized as offence-related property. The owner was unaware as to why this was happening and said a male he referred to by first name only had come to his place of business to get the trailer. The owner described this male as taller, with a Mohawk-style haircut, stalky and wearing a black track suit and red shoes. This is what the male passenger was wearing when he was first stopped by Const. Lockwood.

The owner also noted that when he lent the trailer to the male, all that was in the trailer was a floor jack, two furniture dollies and a spare tire. He also said that he was initially contacted by another male from a construction company in the Vernon area. This male requested the use of the trailer and his buddy was going to come to Edmonton to pick it up.

The owner also advised that he was expecting the trailer back the next day, as if it was an overnight haul. This did not line up to what the male passenger had initially told Const. Lockwood. The trailer owner also advised that a semi truck with a flat deck trailer was hired from Edmonton to come to Clearwater to load the trailer up and take it to the Kamloops area. He added that this was the first he has been aware of the trailer being impounded.

A local tow company advised that they received a call from the “reg owner” asking the trailer to be released. The towing company advised they needed a letter and a picture ID sent to them showing the name and the trailer would be released. This didn’t line up with the trailer owner not being aware the trailer was impounded, while also declining that he spoke with any tow company.

The owner was advised that the trailer was being seized for investigation as it was involved with offence-related property, and he was polite, cooperative and upset at the fact that his trailer had been used in the commission of an offence. Though he did understand the gravity of the situation.

Const. Lockwood advised the owner that there would be no reason for him or the Vernon male to be in possession of the items that were located in the trailer as they are in the construction business. 
During conversation with the owner, he was upfront, honest and more so upset that his trailer was being used for criminal activity without his knowledge or consent. An investigation in on-going.

Clearwater RCMP responded to 47 calls for service this past week.

Sgt. G.D. Simpson is the detachment commander at the Clearwater RCMP Detachment. Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Clearwater RCMP at 250-674-2237 or, to report anonymously, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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