Traffic stop nets commercial break and enter suspect

West Shore RCMP arrest suspect linked with break ins last Thursday (Aug. 14)

A traffic stop on McCallum road last Thursday led to the successful arrest of a man suspected of being involved with several recent commercial break ins.

Shortly before midnight on August 14, a West Shore police officer stopped a 2002 blue Dodge caravan that matched the description of a vehicle that had possibly been involved in a commercial break and enter just days earlier.

The vehicle fled from the traffic stop and struck a parked car, after which the driver fled on foot and was pursued by officers in a foot chase. The man was quickly located a short distance away and taken into custody for possession of break in tools and stolen property.

The suspect, confirmed by the West Shore RCMP as William Ronald Crawford of no fixed address, was scheduled to be in court Monday morning (Aug. 18) at the Western Communities courthouse on charges of possession of break in instruments, flight from a peace officer, possession of stolen property under $5000, failing to remain at the scene of an accident and driving an uninsured vehicle or trailer, as well as a number of other charges from Vernon, Winfield and Kelowna.

The 48-year-old also had outstanding warrants from Alberta and Vernon on unrelated charges.

The street crime unit and regional crime unit have been able to link Crawford to a number of commercial break ins that have occurred in recent weeks, and investigators are liaising with other police departments in the CRD to determine whether Crawford can be linked to crimes in other areas. It’s possible that more charges could be laid, said Cpl. Kathy Rochlitz of the West Shore RCMP.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com