Both a local resident and Cranbrook RCMP were recognized for their work in stopping a jewelry theft gang in Cranbrook.
John Lamont, Jewellers Vigilance Canada, presented the awards at Monday night’s Council meeting.
Jewelers Vigilance is a group representing the jewelers industry and its members.
This is only the second time in Western Canada that the award has been issued. The other police department was the Vancouver Major Crime Unit.
Kyleene Woodward was awarded the Civilian Appreciation Award for individuals who have assisted law enforcement.
“In appreciation for her assistance to the Cranbrook RCMP in their investigation and subsequent arrest of a jewelry theft gang,” Lamont said. “We’re also presenting another plaque to the Cranbrook detachment of the RCMP for their dedication and professionalism in the investigation and arrest of an organization jewelry theft gang that was targeting the Cranbrook jewelry community.”
At council on Monday Staff Sgt. Dave Dubnyk explained what occurred that night Jan. 28. It was late when police received a call about an intrusion alarm at Kootenay Pawnbrokers. Police arrived on scene along with the business owner and his daughter.
“It was quickly determined there had in fact been a break and enter at the business, as a substantial amount of items from the business had been stolen,” Dubnyk explained.
Officers conducted an investigation, including looking at surveillance. The owner and his daughter helped to identify some of the individuals who had been in the store earlier in the day, who Dubnyk said appeared to be casing the store out.
After conducting the initial investigation, officers left the scene. A short while later the business owner’s daughter identified a vehicle that was similar to one seen in the surveillance tape.
The vehicle was parked at a local motel and looked to have been driven recently.
“It was the only vehicle with no frost on it,” Dubnyk said.
Officers knocked on the door at night.
“A couple of the people in the room were taken into custody immediately, a couple bailed out the back window of the motel room,” he said.
Police pursued the other individuals but lost them. The next day social media responses and calls started coming in about some suspicious people in the south part of town.
Police took one suspect into custody, then later in the morning there was a report of a stolen vehicle. An officer was in the area and was able to identify a suspect. The last suspect was caught with the help of a police helicopter and Police Dog Services.
“It was a really good investigation which essentially every member of our detachment was involved,” he said.