A man who has 11 warrants in Alberta and is a suspect in several violent offences there was ushered out of Nanaimo by RCMP officers who bought him a ferry ticket to the mainland with their own money.
Police said the removal happened “swiftly and unceremoniously” after the man was found with a stolen bait bike. Like bait cars, bait bikes are GPS-equipped and can be traced when they are taken.
The bait-bike incident happened about noon on May 2 in the Cypress Street area. The man was arrested by members of a recently formed task force made up of six plainclothes officers, who are dealing with increasing criminal activity around a pair of supportive-housing projects.
A 38-year-old suspect was taken to the Nanaimo RCMP detachment. He attended a judicial bail hearing later in the day and was given a June 4 court date in Nanaimo for possession of stolen property, in relation to the bait bike.
He was released on bail with a number of conditions, including that he not be on Vancouver Island except for court purposes.
At that point, officers drove him directly to the Departure Bay ferry terminal, then “collectively waved goodbye to him,” police said.
“This should be a good reminder to anyone intent on travelling to our fair city and engaging in criminal activity,” said Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien. “You’re not welcome here. You should make other travel arrangements and remove Nanaimo as a destination point.”
The man had no reason to be in Nanaimo, he said.
“No friends, no family on the Island to speak of.”
These sorts of cases come up from time to time, O’Brien said.
“It happens,” he said. “It’s infrequent.”
Sometimes the movements of an accused person will be less restricted, such as a prohibition from going north or south of the Malahat, O’Brien said.