Regional Crime Unit Makes Significant Arrest Relating to Theft From Vehicles

*****The following Media Release is being posted on behalf of S/Sgt. Gary SCHENK of the Regional Crime Unit.****


On Thursday, February 21 Regional Crime Unit officers arrested a 46 year old Esquimalt man who is believed to be responsible for a huge number of overnight thefts from vehicles throughout the Capital Region over the past several months.

RCU investigators had conducted follow-up investigation of a lottery ticket stolen during a February 12 theft from vehicle in the 1600 block of Ash Road in Saanich.  This investigation resulted in officers seizing surveillance video which shows the man redeeming the stolen lottery ticket at a service station near his home.  Shortly after noon on Thursday RCU officers arrested the man for Possession of Stolen Property as he left his home in the 600 block of Grenville Avenue.  Officers subsequently obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s residence and recovered approximately 100 items of suspected stolen property, including a large number of iPods, cell phones, digital cameras, GPS devices, and other items.

Since the arrest officers have been working full-time to identify owners and return the recovered stolen property.  To this point in the investigation the suspect has been linked to a total of 21 separate thefts from vehicles, including 11 in Saanich and the remainder in Sooke, West Shore, Oak Bay, Central Saanich, and Sidney.  This case serves as an excellent example of a prolific offender committing property crime in every jurisdiction across the Capital Region.

46 year old Darin Leslie HAGEL has been charged with 23 counts of Theft, Possession of Stolen Property, and Mischief, and further charges are anticipated once the investigation is completed.  HAGEL remains in custody and is currently scheduled to appear in Victoria Provincial Court for a bail hearing on Thursday, March 14.

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.

Anyone with inquiries relating to this file are requested to contact the office line for the Regional Crime Unit @ 250-405-7110.


Posted by Sgt. Steve Eassie

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