VANCOUVER -- Vancouver police say they seized a "stash" of weapons from a home near Oppenheimer Park on Wednesday, just hours after discovering weapons in the park itself during an assault investigation.

The latest seizure is the third police have reported in and around the Downtown Eastside park since Feb. 27.

In a news release Friday, the Vancouver Police Department said the seizure further raises "concerns of public safety and violence around the park."

According to VPD, officers received a tip about the weapons stash shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday. They obtained and executed a search warrant for a home near the intersection of Dunlevy and East Cordova streets, finding nine imitation firearms, ammunition, swords, hatchets and "several other suspected stolen items," police said.

The full list of items seized, according to police, is as follows:

  • nine imitation firearms
  • firearm parts, including barrels
  • 12-gauge shotgun shells
  • swords
  • knives
  • hatchets
  • handmade weapons
  • a stun baton
  • bear spray
  • BB pellets and paintball rounds

Speaking to reporters Friday afternoon, VPD spokesperson Sgt. Aaron Roed said the three weapons seizures since Feb. 27 were not the result of a specific effort to crack down on weapons in the park, but rather have happened as a result of separate investigations.

Roed said Vancouver police have had an increased presence in the area of the park since late August.

"We still have a large, increased presence," Roed said. "We are very highly visible and we are responding to incidents as needed. We're not initiating these seizures."

For months, police have maintained that drug trafficking and gang violence in the Downtown Eastside have been concentrated in the area around the homeless camp in Oppenheimer Park.

In December, the Vancouver Park Board, which is responsible for park operations, announced a "decampment plan" for those living in the park. That plan included an injunction ordering campers to leave, but only once certain conditions were met.