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Vancouver police alerted to loaded, semi-automatic rifle stashed on Strathcona street

Vancouver police are 'concerned' but say the finding poses no current risk to public safety
Photo: Twitter/DeputyChow

The Vancouver Police Department’s recovery of a semi-automatic, loaded rifle Thursday morning on the streets of Strathcona is raising some questions.

VPD Cst. Tania Vistin said just before 9:30 a.m. Sept. 10, a construction worker alerted the authorities to the presence of the rifle in a tent bag near Prior Street and Heatley Avenue.

“The Forensic Identification Unit has been engaged and will swab for prints,” Vistin said after police scanned surveillance footage in its ongoing search to locate the weapon's carrier.

With no serial number on the rifle, Vistin said it is unclear of the firearm’s origins.

“Anytime we do find these weapons it is concerning,” Vistin told Vancouver Is Awesome.

“These weapons are on the streets,” the officer stressed.

Vancouver City Councillor Pete Fry said in response to Deputy Chief Howard Chow's Twitter post, recounting the incident, that “lots of people have been on edge about increased crime but this is definitely next level.”

President of Vancouver’s Downtown Business Improvement Association, Charles Gauthier, responded as well:

“Are we in a war zone? Where the heck [are] these weapons coming from?” He queried.

At this stage of the investigation, VPD does not believe public safety to be at risk, Vistin confirmed.

To note: Chow's Twitter postdates a rifle to have been recovered on Tuesday. VPD confirmed the incident occurred Sept. 10.