Kudos to the Squad

The last few weeks have been a bittersweet experience. 

As Hondo and I have been unable to partake in the catching of crooks due to Hondo’s recovery, we have been living vicariously through the working lives of our K9 comrades.  And what a few weeks it has been.

I am not able to get into specifics as most of the incidents are now before the courts, but trust me when I say the rest of the guys and dogs in the Squad have been working double time and have been making some spectacular arrests.  My only sour point is that Hondo and I have been observers, not active participants….but that’s my issue, not yours.  😉

Earlier this week our Media Section released  information about an incident that took place in the early hours of Sunday, April 12th:

April 12th, 2:00 a.m. – Seven men are facing charges of break and enter after a Canada Line employee witnessed them in the process of stealing copper cables from a B.C. Hydro Substation in the 400 block of Kent Street. It took the combined efforts of three VPD police dogs, “Chase,” “Blix” and “Koda,” and several patrol officers to make the arrests.

The Canada Line employee was checking the Canada Line tracks above the substation when he saw several men inside the B.C. Hydro yard below him loading copper wire into a van. The van drove off as he got on the phone to 9-1-1 to report the suspicious circumstance. Police were dispatched and set up containment around the site moments later. The sounds of banging metal could be heard inside the yard as the three police canine units moved in and began a search of the substation yard and surrounding grounds.

Over the next few minutes, seven men were taken into custody as they attempted to escape over the fence after being spotted by police. The police dogs apprehended three of the men, three others surrendered and one man was arrested as he exited the compound.

An examination of the yard revealed that the thieves had cut through the chain-link fence and were in the process of stripping large cables to get at the copper inside. Numerous tools and hacksaws were recovered by police.

The theft will cost B.C. Hydro, or specifically its ratepayers, about 2.8 million dollars.  A damaged special submarine cable will need to be replaced at a cost of 2.7 million and a $100,000 cable has not yet been recovered.

“The bigger concern is public safety,” says Dag Sharman from B.C. Hydro.  “Thieves put their lives at risk, but they also put the lives of first responders at risk.  Our staff who arrive at work and aren’t aware that wires and equipment have been tampered with are also in danger, as is the public who may come into contact with live wires.”

“If you see a power line down, stay at least 10 metres away,” says Sharman. “Call B.C. Hydro at 1-888-POWER-ON.”        

Sergeant John Rennie of the VPD’s Property Crime Unit, says metal theft is taken very seriously by the Department.  “We have the Xtract program, in which all secondhand dealers, pawn shops and scrap dealers have to report all transactions.  We’re also involved with Scrap-watch, where scrap dealers report any suspicions to police and to each other.”

 

The three dog teams and the patrol officers involved in this incident successfully arrested several suspects.  Incidents like this happen on a regular basis – albeit, three dog teams all getting arrests in the same call is a bit of a rarity, and if I said I wasn’t a bit jealous I’d be lying. 

This call is an example of how great work by patrol units, good calls by an NCO (supervisor), and a team effort on behalf of the dog teams and support units resulted in a successful conclusion. 

I could share with you on a weekly basis the excellent work my fellow dog teams do (like the other week when a couple of em caught a bank robber or when a solo handler apprehended a violent assault suspect), but most of the guys like to stay below the radar.  As it is, I’m sure I’ll get a little flack for writing about these three dog teams, but really, these guys are my brothers, and if I can’t take advantage of a little media attention and spout off about their good work, then who can? 

Good job, boys.

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