A man wanted in connection to a drug-related Valentine’s Day robbery and kidnapping and a robbery and assault the day before in Kamloops has been arrested in the south Okanagan.
Kamloops RCMP Sgt. Nestor Baird said 31-year-old Robert James Rennie was arrested on Thursday, Feb. 21, by Penticton Mounties during a traffic stop in Kaleden, a small town 13 kilometres south of Penticton, along Highway 97 and on Skaha Lake.
Rennie has been charged with assault causing bodily harm. He is the third person to be arrested and charged in connection with the incidents.
On Feb. 15, Mounties arrested Justin Daniels at a home on Bernard Avenue in Kamloops. He has been charged with armed robbery and forcible confinement. On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Mounties arrested 36-year-old Michael James Mathieson in a home on Brandon Avenue on the North Shore of Kamloops. He has been charged with robbery, forcible confinement and firearms offences.
The Valentine’s Day robbery and kidnapping occurred in downtown Kamloops, when 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, Mounties 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.
Further investigation led police to an address on Bernard Avenue in Kelowna, where Mounties arrested Daniels.
The next morning, Feb. 15, police learned the kidnapped woman was in a vehicle that was travelling to Kamloops from Kelowna. That vehicle was stopped by by police near Falkland. The woman was found, uninjured, in the vehicle and a man was arrested. Police say firearms were also seized from the vehicle.
According to documents filed in Kamloops provincial court, the robbery and kidnapping are connected to an incident on Feb. 13, when a man was beaten and robbed. Daniels and Mathieson are charged with robbery in connection with that incident, while Rennie is facing one count of assault causing bodily harm.
The following day, the documents allege, two other men were the victims of an armed robbery at the hands of Daniels and Mathieson. One of the alleged victims, Steven Insua, has a lengthy criminal record and past ties to high-ranking Kamloops drug dealers.
The same day, the documents state, Daniels and Mathieson also used a firearm to kidnap two people — a man and a woman. The man, Burke Schulz, has a lengthy criminal record and is facing firearms charges stemming from an incident in August. He was slated to appear in Kamloops provincial court on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Meanwhile, police continue to search for two men facing murder charges in connection with the Feb. 15 double shooting in Brocklehurst that left one man dead and a woman in hospital.
Gordon Braaten 35, and Hugh McIntosh, 51, are each charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection to the shootings at a residence near Tranquille Road and Southill Street that left 39-year-old Jason Glover dead and wounded 50-year-old Kelly Califas.
Police say Braaten and McIntosh are considered armed and dangerous.
No arrests have yet been made in connection to the Jan. 23 shooting deaths of 33-year-old Cody Mathieu and 41-year-old Rex Gill. Mathieu was killed at the Super 8 Motel in Valleyview at about 6:50 a.m., while Gill was killed at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Aberdeen at about 8:25 a.m.
Police have said the shooting deaths are related to the gang war over the city’s drug trade, but added that Gill’s may have been a case of mistaken identity as he has no criminal record and is not known to be involved in the drug trade.
Gill was from Summerland and was in Kamloops for work.
He was shot and killed as he and a friend stood outside the hotel, smoking a cigarette before beginning work that day.