Why West Kelowna RCMP never showed up to 911 break-in call | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Why West Kelowna RCMP never showed up to 911 break-in call

This clip from surveillance video clearly shows that the thief is in an enclosed space, and not an "open carport" as portrayed by the RCMP.
Image Credit: Submitted/Brandon Travis
June 11, 2021 - 6:00 AM

When Brandon Travis woke to find his home had been broken into last Saturday, he did exactly what you’d expect.

He called 911 “right away” to report the crime and was so sure that a police officer was on the way over to investigate that he spent 45 minutes standing in his driveway waiting.

Four days later, Travis isn’t standing in his driveway any longer but he is still waiting in vain for someone to show. It seems, he made the mistake of calling his walled-in and locked carport as just that, a carport.

Police likely would have responded differently if he’d called it a garage instead.

“I don’t know why they’re saying that, other than trying to cover their asses for not showing up,” Travis told iNFOnews.ca today, June 9.

Travis insists that it was around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday that he phoned 911 after finding the locked door handle had been removed from his “carport,” the door left open and tools stolen.

When no police officer showed up, he made a second call to the RCMP, this one to the main switchboard, when he was given a contact name and file number.

That seems to be what’s on record as his initial call.

“On June 5, 2021 just before 11:10 a.m., West Kelowna RCMP received a report of a theft from a residence in the 3500 block of Old Okanagan Highway,” RCMP Const. Solana Pare wrote in an email to iNFOnews.ca. “The complainant reported that an assortment of tools and machinery were taken from an open carport five to six hours earlier that morning.”

Since it was an “open carport,” that was not considered a residential break-in. Instead, it's considered theft.

“As per the Criminal Code, the classification of a break and enter would require entry (forced or unforced) into an enclosed space such as a fenced compound, garage, shed or residence for the purpose of committing an indictable offence. This definition does not apply to open, unenclosed spaces such as a carport.”

While Travis did refer to the structure as a carport when talking to iNFOnews.ca, the video he sent to the RCMP clearly shows that it is, in fact, an enclosed space with walls on each side. There is a locked “man door” next to the garage door that is used by a tenant to access his suite.

The RCMP do not necessarily attend in person when there are reports of theft, Pare wrote, especially if there is no perishable evidence.

But, they do usually attend when there is a residential or business break-in.

As it turned out, it took until 2:44 p.m. that Saturday before Travis got a call from the RCMP, saying they were backed up with files that day.

Standing on definition may not, ultimately, make a world of difference in the outcome of this case but would certainly have affected Travis’s impression of how the RCMP respond to such serious break-ins.

Travis posted the video online, was quickly alerted to the fact that the person so clearly visible in the video is a known prolific offender who sells his stolen wares through Facebook.

He passed that information on to the RCMP.

“So I work as a cabinet finisher in Kelowna for 15 years, my house gets broken into, my safety is taken away from me, I do all the leg work myself, track down who the thief eats breakfast with and all of this extra police funding in Kelowna is for what exactly?” he wrote in an email to iNFOnews.ca. “This could’ve ended so differently. What if the thief had gotten through the second door to where my family was sleeping?”

Travis said he has been told that a warrant for the arrest of the alleged thief has been issued.

The RCMP, however, have not confirmed that to be the case.

“At this time, the investigation into the suspect’s identify remains ongoing and the lead investigator continues to follow up on the initial information provided,” Pare wrote yesterday. “Once the identity of the suspect is confirmed, the full investigation will be forwarded to the B.C. Public Prosecution Service in consideration of criminal charges. Generally, only in the event that an investigation results in the laying of criminal charges, would the RCMP confirm the nature of any charges laid and the identity of the individual(s) involved.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 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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