Gold bars and broken hearts make for a safer small town - InfoNews

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Gold bars and broken hearts make for a safer small town

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August 30, 2019 - 3:30 PM

PEACHLAND - If it wasn’t for the law-abiding nature of one-half of an Okanagan couple, Peachland wouldn’t have gained its newest vehicle.

Earlier in the month, it was widely reported that gold bars obtained by RCMP and turned over to the District of Peachland were worth around $5,400, which was being directed to a community policing vehicle.

Cpl. Meghan Foster, however, offered a bit more insight into how those bars wound up in the couple's hands.

“Basically a lady was dating a male suspect who she realized had been involved in break and enters and she turned it over to the police,” Foster said. “She called and came in and (RCMP) seized the property believing it to be stolen.”

There were more than gold bars included in the haul — there were also some electronics and instruments.

“We did the open house and people provided photos to get their stuff,” Foster said, adding that nobody claimed the bars, though others did stake claim to other items, providing photos or serial numbers in order to do so. 

“Then after the 90 days of police custody, the items of value turned over to the municipality.”

Then it was turned over to Peachland.

“It was returned to the community it was found, and it goes into their assets and they choose how to use it.”

As for whether it could have been kept by who found the item that’s not likely.

While Foster couldn’t find the exact legislation, she pointed out that proceeds of crime are dealt with in two ways — the aforementioned route and the civil forfeiture act, which goes through the courts.

And as for questions of “finders keepers” that’s not applicable when it comes to proceeds of crime.

Even in the case of good Samaritans returning lost envelopes of money, there should be no real likelihood of the money returning.

“When people bring something in they sign off and say they don’t want it,” she said.  

Had the woman kept the gold bars, she could have been on the hook for the crime associated with them if she’d been caught trying to spend them and they were known to be associated to a crime.

That said, there are some finders keepers laws in Canada.

The finder has entitlement to the item over all other people, except the true owner of the item or a person who found the item first, if the item is not attached to the land or embedded in it.

All in all, it’s just better to make the right choice, and not expect to get a return on it, Foster said.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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