*****************Released on behalf of Staff Sergeant Gary Schenk of the Regional Crime Unit. For more information please call him at 250-883-4389. ****************
On Thursday, Nov. 1 a Regional Crime Unit investigation culminated in the execution of a search warrant at a Colwood residence and the recovery of a large amount of stolen property.
The investigation began following a high profile residential break and enter which occurred in Mill Bay on Friday, October 26 (Shawnigan Lake RCMP file 12-3104). The following day a vehicle was broken into at Albert Head Lagoon in Metchosin and a purse was stolen from the vehicle (West Shore RCMP file 12-15468). RCU investigators tracked the use of a credit card from the stolen purse to the 17 Mile Pub in Sooke, where they believe a vehicle stolen in the Mill Bay break and enter was seen.
At this point the investigation targeted 26 year old Derek Ernest FAST, a prolific offender regularly monitored by the Regional Crime Unit for his past involvement in similar offences. On Thursday afternoon FAST was observed leaving from a residence in the 500 block Stornoway Drive in Colwood driving his girlfriend’s vehicle. FAST is subject of a Canada-wide driving prohibition, but when police attempted to pull him over in the area of Jacklin and Sooke Roads he fled on foot, abandoning the vehicle.
Inside the vehicle police located the floor mats and car stereo and speakers from the vehicle stolen in the Mill Bay break and enter. Also located was evidence linking FAST to another theft from vehicle where a credit card was stolen and successfully used to withdraw $1,000 from the victim’s account. Based on all of this evidence investigators applied for a search warrant for the Stornoway Drive address which was executed later that evening. Investigators located and seized a huge amount of property which is all believed to have been stolen in recent break and enters and thefts from vehicles. Also seized were a sawed-off shotgun and more parts from the vehicle stolen in the Mill Bay break and enter. To this point in the investigation police have laid a total of 12 charges against FAST, including Theft, Possession of Stolen Property, Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, Operation of a Motor Vehicle While Disqualified, and Breach of Probation. FAST remains at large but is wanted on several outstanding warrants for his arrest. Police will be working throughout the week to identify all of the recovered stolen property and contact and notify owners. Many more charges are anticipated once the investigation has been concluded.
This case serves as an excellent example of the work of the Regional Crime Unit in investigating prolific multi-jurisdictional offenders across the capital region. The Regional Crime Unit is an integrated unit comprised of police officers from the Saanich Police Department, Oak Bay Police Department, Central Saanich Police Service, West Shore Detachment RCMP as well as Provincial RCMP. Since February 2008 the Regional Crime Unit has been pursuing its mandate of proactively targeting the region’s most prolific criminal offenders.
Do you know where Derek FAST is? If so, call your local police.