Saanich police arrested a man in relation to the theft of rescue equipment from the temporary fire hall near Tillicum Centre with help of the VicPD K-9 unit.
Just after 10:30 p.m. on July 8, Saanich police received reports of an ongoing theft at 3100 Arena Rd. – the Pearkes Recreation Centre where the Saanich Fire Department has been operating a temporary fourth fire hall during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Witnesses called the police after seeing someone breaking into the enclosure which houses a fire engine on-site, explained Deputy Fire Chief Dan Wood.
When officers arrived, they found that someone had stolen a hydraulic rescue pump from the fire engine, said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich Police Department.
Police contained the area to search for the suspect and called on the Victoria Police Department’s K-9 unit for assistance as there were no Saanich police dogs on shift.
Officers eventually located the stolen pump and the male suspect. Anastasiades said the man was arrested without issue and later released with a promise to appear in court later this year on a recommended break and enter charge.
Police took photos of the stolen hydraulic pump for evidence and it has since been returned to the fire department.
The temporary fire hall was set up to split up firefighters to reduce contact and permit social distancing during the pandemic, Wood explained.
This was the first incident at the temporary hall, he said, noting the hydraulic pump is useless without other equipment and it is quite heavy.
Firefighters will continue to use the temporary station for the foreseeable future but the fire department will take steps to improve the security of the lockable structure which houses the fire engine.
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