Clearwater RCMP gets award for successful arrest

Four detachment members honored for their role in arresting a suspected murderer who was travelling from Edmonton to the Lower Mainland

Members of Clearwater RCMP detachment receive a plaque on Thursday from Integrated Homicide Investigation Team for the successful arrest of a suspected murderer last spring. Pictured are (l-r) Cst. Ashton Phillips

When Cst. Darrel Sandback of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) in the Lower Mainland needed someone to arrest a murder suspect with a Canada-wide warrant believed to be traveling from Edmonton to Vancouver last spring, he called Clearwater RCMP.

Sandback had served with the local detachment until about three years ago.

“I had confidence in their abilities, plus I figured they owed me a few favors,” he said.

The arrest of Shakib Shakib at a roadblock on Highway 5 on Mar. 6, 2012, apparently went without a hitch.

Inspector Ward Lymburner was in Clearwater on Thursday to present the four members involved in the arrest plus the detachment itself with plaques from IHIT, commemorating the successful outcome.

Also on hand for the presentation was Chief Superintendent Mike Sekela, the officer-in-charge of the RCMP in B.C.’s Southeast District.

Both Lymburner and Sekela were full of praise of how the arrest was carried out. It was done with good planning, with minimal risk to the general public, and without violating the suspect’s rights, they said.

Sgt. Kevin Podbisky, on the other hand, described the arrest as “… just good, old-fashioned police work.”

Podbisky helped organize the arrest and was one of the four honored during Thursday’s ceremony. However, he said the real credit has to go to the other three recipients: constables Ashton Phillips, Tyson Bruns, and Landon Tonn.

Since the arrest, Shakib has been charged with first degree murder for the death of Branson Sanders.

A suspected accomplice, Brandon Nandan was detained in the Lower Mainland within a few minutes of Shakib’s arrest in Clearwater. He has also since been charged with first degree murder.

Both Shakib and Nandan were aged 19 at the time.

In November, 2012, IHIT announced that a 16-year-old had also been charged with first degree murder in the case as well.

Branson Sander’s badly burned body was found in a bush in Burnaby in December, 2011.

Police investigation led them to believe the murder actually took place at a residence in Surrey.


They believe that the body was then transported to Burnaby, where it was found.



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