Unexplained police incident leaving Westwold residents with questions - InfoNews

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Unexplained police incident leaving Westwold residents with questions

January 20, 2017 - 2:30 PM

WESTWOLD - Westwold residents are anxiously wondering what prompted a significant police presence in the normally peaceful North Okanagan community nearly two weeks ago. 

Resident Jayne Aulis says four police cars flew past her house around 2:45 p.m. Jan. 8, followed by an ambulance and first responders. A police helicopter was later seen that evening, and again the following day, she says. 

“It’s very unusual for our area,” Aulis says.

She's concerned that no information was given to the community or to the media, and says residents have been left wondering what happened. Without any information, they are left with entirely unsubstantiated rumours about a possible shooting incident in the Douglas Lake Road area, prompting a road block and police presence.

iNFOnews.ca has been trying unsuccessfully to reach the RCMP about the activity since Jan. 17. 

“No one has been given any information as to what was going on,” Aulis says. “That’s wrong, because the people who live out here are forced to be worried. Is there something to be concerned about? Do you lock your doors? Is there someone still living in the community that we should be concerned about?”

When contacted by phone, several residents of Douglas Lake Road said they had heard rumour of a police incident, but had not personally seen or heard anything, while one man reported seeing police cruisers and a black ‘SWAT type’ vehicle travelling down the highway towards Douglas Lake Road on Jan. 8.

Court records show a man was arrested the same day, in Westwold, although we have no confirmation the cases are related. Travis Keath Alois Blaeser faces four firearms related charges, including careless storage, posession without a license or registration, and occupying a vehicle knowing a firearm is present dated Jan. 8. He is also charged with one count of resisting a peace officer.

Blaeser returns to court Feb. 1 for a bail hearing.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 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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