Four people, including some West Shore residents, are facing more than 100 charges related to break and enters and vehicle thefts.
A break in to a vehicle in Mill Bay on Friday, Oct. 26 started the investigation by the Regional Crime Unit that led to the arrests. A vehicle break and enter in Metchosin was also related to the investigation.
Derek Ernest Fast, 26, a “prolific offender,” according to RCMP, became the target of the investigation. On Nov. 1 RCMP observed Fast, who has a national driving prohibition, in Colwood, driving his girlfriend’s vehicle.
Police attempted to pull him over but he took off on foot. Inside the car were items stolen from the Mill Bay vehicle, along with evidence linking Fast to other crimes. A search of a residence Fast was seen leaving from also turned up stolen items.
On Nov. 8 West Shore RCMP arrested Robert Joseph Iverson, 34, as he was observed breaking into vehicles in the 3100 block of Dornier Road in Langford. While searching a resident associated with Iverson police found evidence linking Iverson with Fast.
Fast was arrested on Nov. 13 in the 500 block of Stornoway Drive in Colwood.
The stolen property recovered from the residences include laptops, iPods, GPS devices, digital cameras, cell phone, wallets, purses, ID, jewelry and many other items.
“One of the positive aspects of this investigation was how much stolen property investigators were able to return to the original owners,” states a Regional Crime Unit press release. “This was the largest investigation in the four-and-a-half year history on the Regional Crime Unit, in terms of the amount of stolen property recovered and the number of charges laid.”
Fast has been charged with 46 counts of criminal offences, including break and enters, theft, possession of stolen property, possession of a prohibited weapon and breach of probation. He remains in custody and is due in Western Communities Courthouse on Dec. 13.
Iverson faces 28 charges of theft, possession of stolen property and offences related to the possession of a firearm. Iverson is also in custody and will appear in court Dec. 20.
Also charged is Fast’s girlfriend, Tannya Kathleen Barnes, 27, who faces 28 counts of possession of stolen property and charges related to the possession of a firearm. Barnes has been released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 19.
Iverson’s girlfriend, Jennifer Priscilla Hermans, 33, is charged with four counts of possession of stolen property and four counts of breach of probation. She has been released on a promise to appear in Western Communities Courthouse on Jan. 3, 2013.
A large majority of the charges stem from crimes committed on the West Shore. The charges relate to crimes carried out in Ladysmith, Shawnigan Lake, Sooke, Sidney, Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay.