Suspect in stolen property seizure arrested

26-year-old woman facing 45 charges in connection with stolen property discovered on Pat Bay Highway property

The 26-year-old woman facing a host of charges in connection with more than $100,000 worth of stolen property has been captured by Vancouver Police.

According to Saanich Police Sgt. Steve Eassie, Zoe Jacqueline Thompson was caught on Dec. 2, just a day after the department put out a media release calling for her arrest. She was located in Vancouver by one of the city’s officers.

“I believe it was just an observation from one of their officers, who observed her in the back of a cab,” said Eassie. “Based on the information that had been shared through the law enforcement agencies, they were able to locate her and arrest her.”

Thompson is currently being held in custody at a women’s institution in the Lower Mainland and was set to make a court appearance via videoconference on Monday morning.

Thompson faces 45 charges, including 17 counts of possession of stolen property under $5,000, two counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000, 19 counts of dealing with an identity document without excuse, five counts of possession of a weapon obtained through an offence, one count of unsafe storage of a firearm and one count of break and enter and commit theft.

Darren George Chernoff, 45, faces the same charges. He was arrested by Oceanside RCMP in early October for a break-in at the Qualicum Beach Inn, which ultimately led police to the discovery of stolen property.

The pair is accused of being in possession of a wide range of stolen personal and commercial items, including jewelry, construction equipment, power tools, large generators, compressors, snowblowers, pressure washers, at least one vehicle, several licence plates, over 1,000 keys and four firearms – all long guns or rifles. The property was recovered during a search by Saanich Police of a residence in the 5800 block of Pat Bay Highway.

Eassie said the stolen property was taken from as far north as Parksville on Vancouver Island, as well as all over the Lower Mainland and as far east as Nelson.

“There’s a good possibility that if people have suffered a break-in to their homes or a break-in to their vehicle, we may have some of their property,” he said during a press conference announcing the property seizure. “I can tell you we’ve seized well over 200 exhibits at this point.”

In an effort to return the remaining property to its rightful owners, the Saanich Police have posted photographs of the stolen property on its website. To view the photos, visit saanichpolice.ca/index.php/property-control/34-site/content/264-found-property.

If you have been a victim of a crime and observe your property, please contact the Saanich Police non-emergency line at 250-475-4321.