Saanich Police snag $100,000 in stolen property

Arrest in Oceanside leads police to property on Pat Bay Highway

Sgt. Steve Eassie stands beside some of the $100

Sgt. Steve Eassie stands beside some of the $100

Saanich Police had to rent a shipping container to store the bulk of more than $100,000 in stolen property they recovered from one home in October.

Police used a press conference to highlight the vast amount of property recovered from a residence in the 5800 block of the Pat Bay Highway. The stolen goods included 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.

“This is huge,” said Sgt. Steve Eassie. “It’s not uncommon for us to recover stolen property, it’s not uncommon for us to find a cache of stolen property, but I can tell you the amount of property related to this particular incident is bigger than we’ve ever seen.

“I think we’re being quite conservative in our estimate of over $100,000. There was a substantial amount of recovered jewelry and some of those items were quite highly priced.”

The property was discovered following the arrest of two men by Oceanside RCMP in early October for a break-in at the Qualicum Beach Inn. Information from the investigation indicated a potential link between the suspects and an address in Saanich.

In a review of the information, the Saanich Police Street Crime Unit and crime analyst linked a female suspect from a July ATM theft to the Pat Bay Highway address. She, too, was arrested by Oceanside RCMP after she attended to the detachment to recover some of her personal belongings. She was released on a promise to appear to attend court at a later date.

Saanich Police executed a search warrant at the Pat Bay Highway residence, where they found the extensive collection of stolen property. Eassie said the stolen property was taken from as far north as Parksville on Vancouver Island, as well as across 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, noting police have contacted numerous property owners to return their stolen items. “I can tell you we’ve seized well over 200 exhibits at this point.”

Eassie said dozens of sets of financial documents and identification were recovered, but noted the police have not connected any incidents of identity theft or identity fraud to the property they seized.

Darren George Chernoff, 45, and Zoe Jacqueline Thompson, 26, each face 45 charges for the property theft, 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.

Chernoff is currently in custody, awaiting a further court appearance in early December, in addition to his court dates from the Oceanside arrest. Thompson failed to appear in court on Nov. 17 and is believed to have fled to the Lower Mainland. A warrant for her arrest has been issued.

In an effort to return the remaining property to its rightful owners, the Saanich Police will be posting photographs of the stolen property on its website. To view the photos, visit saanichpolice.ca.

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.

Anyone that may have information about the location of Thompson, or anyone that may have information relating to this investigation, is asked to contact Saanich Police at 250-475-4321 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

jacob.zinn@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Elk Lake Drive area resident Michael Blayney protests a proposed multi-building development for his Royal Oak neighbourhood, outside Saanich municipal hall on Monday (June 14). (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Demonstrators protest 11-storey development on Elk Lake Drive in Saanich

Saanich locals gather at municipal hall to protest development, public hearing goes Tuesday

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to rescind its ban to Feb. 28, 2022 on cruise ship stops in Canada, to allow planning to begin in advance of a reopening of the cruise industry next year.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority seeks end to federal ban on cruise ship stops in Canada

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO hopes cruises will resume by 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read