Police recover $65,000 in goods stolen from fire evacuation zone
Published Monday, July 17, 2017 12:26PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, July 17, 2017 1:46PM PDT
A 38-year-old man from the B.C. Interior has been charged after police found roughly $65,000 worth of stolen goods believed to have been looted from a wildfire evacuation zone.
The stolen items were located on a remote property near Williams Lake that police said was being used as a "stash site."
Authorities described the recovered items as heavy equipment that belongs to wildfire evacuees, but have not released any specifics about what was found.
One suspect, Big Lake resident Shane Brody, was also arrested and charged with possession of stolen property worth over $5,000.
B.C.'s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit said it began investigating the thefts after learning of a prolific offender stalking the evacuation zone.
"The investigation was only possible, during a severely adverse time, due to the close working partnerships of the various law enforcement units from around the province," the CFSEU said in a news release.
Brody is being held in custody pending a court appearance on Thursday.
Several other suspected looters, most of whom are known to police, have been arrested since the province's wildfire situation escalated dramatically earlier this month.
Mounties said they are conducting 24-hour patrols of evacuation zones to protect private property.