When West Shore RCMP saw weekend news reports of a suspected boat burglar wanted by Victoria police, they realized they already had the man in custody in connection with a similar crime.
The story of the boat bandit began early Sunday, when Larry Olsen discovered footage from his personal security camera of a man breaking into his boat on the Gorge Waterway in Esquimalt.
Olsen reported the incident to Victoria police. He and the investigators could clearly see images of the man entering the boat about 1 a.m., but did not know until Monday that West Shore Mounties had arrested a man seven hours after that.
RCMP say the man stole a fishing boat and ran aground in nearby Portage Inlet.
Olsen, who purchased two surveillance cameras after several thefts from his home, was happy to see the devices helped catch a criminal.
“He apparently left my boat, after his brief engagement in theatre, and went on to steal the neighbour’s boat,” he told the Times Colonist. “I am celebrating and delighted with the apparent outcome.”
A View Royal resident called the West Shore RCMP when she saw a fishing boat that appeared to be grounded near Seabird Place. The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, called out to the man with an offer of help — until she looked through a pair of binoculars and saw blood running down his face.
Instead, she called police, who worked with the View Royal fire department and launched their own boat at the nearby Craigflower bridge. It was clear the man, who said he borrowed the vessel from a friend, was intoxicated, police say.
West Shore Mounties say the man they arrested at 8 a.m. is the same person caught on camera breaking into a boat around 1 a.m.
The man is also seen on camera taking alcohol from Olsen’s boat before removing the surveillance camera.
Olsen believes the thief later went across the Gorge to Adam’s Fishing Charters, where a Grady-White fishing boat was stolen.
Darrell Martin Tkachuk, 23, is in custody and charged with theft over $5,000 and breach of court conditions. He is expected to appear in Western Communities provincial court. Police anticipate more charges at that time.
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