RCMP investigate outlaw biker gang

Why were they here and what did they want? That's what RCMP want to know after known members of several outlaw biker gangs were spotted at a local motorcycle club function.

But Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said there's nothing to suggest that the Kamloops North Shore Men's Motorcycle Club is aligned with the gangs.

"We're not casting the North Shore Men's Motorcycle Club itself as being a puppet (club) or that they've now become a criminal organization. That's not the case," Learned said Tuesday.

"There may be one or more people who are part of the North Shore men's club who have these type of linkages and it was through that connectivity that these people showed up."

He said about 50 bikers gathered Saturday for a motorcycle part swap and fundraiser dinner and dance that night. Both events were held at the Ukrainian Orthodox Hall on York Avenue in North Kamloops.

Among the crowd were members of the White Rock Hells Angels and Kelowna based puppet clubs Kingpin Crew, Throttle Lockers and Deadman's Hand. Learned said the bikers were identified by their club patches and visually recognized by the Kelowna RCMP Street Crime Unit who were brought in as part of an investigation.

Police made their presence known outside the event and no arrests were made.

The North Shore club has never been on the RCMP's radar before, said Learned. But, with known outlaw bikers attending a sanctioned event, police are investigating further.

"When you have that type of over advertising as we saw on Saturday, this is a cause for our concern and we will be following that up," said Learned.

Biker clubs like the Hells Angels are, contrary to what they say, organized crime groups. When one group associates itself with another, there is usually a good reason, he said.

It could be argued the outlaw bikers were there to support a legitimate good cause, said Learned. But outlaw gangs often display themselves in a favourable public light.

"Don't ever be deluded into believing the Hells Angels are anything but a criminal organization," he said. "Why were they here and what was the purpose? What was going on below the table?"

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