Thursday’s police activity in Kamloops at multiple locations involved a drug-related robbery and kidnapping that included operations in Kamloops and Kelowna and Highway 97 between the two cities.
Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said on Thursday morning in downtown Kamloops, two men and a woman were robbed by two men armed with firearms. After the robbery, it is believed the assailants took the woman against her will in one of the other victim’s vehicles.
Acting on information through investigation, Shelkie said officers went to a home on Dallas Drive, where the suspects were believed to be. The area was cordoned off, but when police entered the house, they found it had been ransacked and was empty.
Shelkie said the victim’s stolen vehicle was later found in an area near Barnhartvale Road and Highway 97.
She said further investigation led police to an address on Bernard Avenue in Kelowna, where Mounties arrested one of the robbery suspects.
On Friday morning, Shelkie said, police learned that the kidnapped woman could be in a vehicle that was travelling to Kamloops from Kelowna.
“This vehicle was stopped by police near Falkland,” Shelkie said. “Officers arrested a male and a female suspect and located the kidnapped female. Thankfully, the woman was uninjured. Firearms were also seized from this vehicle.”
Shelkie said the investigation is ongoing, with police working to identify and find the second suspect involved in the robbery and kidnapping.
“It is clear this was a targeted crime and involved participants in the local Kamloops drug trade,” she said.
The Crown will determine charges against those arrested.
While the police operation was happening on Thursday, Mounties would release no information, other than to say the general public was not in danger.
Shelkie said that tactic was necessary as part of police strategy.
“Kamloops RCMP thank the media and the community for their patience during this ongoing and fluid investigation,” she said. “We are committed the safety of the community and would have communicated any immediate public safety concerns; however, the situation was dynamic and unfolding. While the investigation was ongoing, what may have been perceived as lack of communication was a measured, operational strategy.”
She said the foremost concern of police was the safety of the kidnapped woman.
“The danger that she was in cannot be overemphasized. Officers knew that the suspects were armed,” Shelkie said. “It was unknown what their intent was regarding her life. Few details could be released to the media to protect our investigation and, ultimately, help get this woman back to safety.”