Man charged with stealing harbour ferry denied bail

An Alberta man charged with stealing a Victoria Harbour Ferry vessel and smashing downtown windows this week has been denied bail.

Matthew Poirier, 32, appeared in Victoria provincial court Friday morning seeking his release. At the end of the proceedings, which cannot be reported because of a a publication ban, Judge Christine Lowe cancelled Poirier’s previous bail and detained him. Poirier’s next court appearance is Jan. 28.

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He is charged with 11 offences and is expected to face more.

On Dec. 28, Poirier was arrested after allegedly stealing groceries out of a parked car.

The next day, he was arrested by Saanich police and charged with stealing a Volkswagen Jetta. He is also charged with possession of stolen property in connection with that theft.

Poirier is also charged with causing mischief at Harris Victoria, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram on Dec. 31. It’s alleged he stole a tire, then threw the tire into traffic.

He faces three charges in connection with the theft of a a Victoria Harbour Ferry on Jan. 19. These include theft over $5,000, committing mischief by interfering with the lawful use of the water taxi and failing to stop when being pursued by a police officer.

On Jan. 20, Poirier was arrested and charged with breaking windows at Swans Brew Pub, Good Fellas Smoke Shop and breaching his undertaking by being east of Douglas Street.

Early Tuesday, Victoria police were called to the waters off Swift Street for a report that a man had stolen a ferry and was headed up the Gorge Waterway. When officers arrived, the ferry changed direction toward the Inner Harbour.

With the assistance of a Harbour Ferry maintenance supervisor, officers pursued in a company skiff. The Coast Guard vessel Cape St. James also helped and took officers on board. The skiff closed the gap on the stolen ferry and the officers aboard were able to speak to the suspect and persuade him to surrender.

Early Wednesday, a man was arrested by Victoria police after a glass-smashing spree. Police were called to a multi-unit residential building in the 1700-block of Cook Street, near North Park Street, about 12:30 a.m. for a report of an alarm going off. They found the front-door window had been smashed with a rock.

During the next 90 minutes, they came across several businesses where a rock or other item had been used to break windows.

About 2 a.m., officers were alerted to a man breaking windows with a large wooden pole at a restaurant on Pandora Avenue between Government and Store streets. The man fled but was located nearby and arrested.

Police believe a total of 14 businesses had their windows smashed.

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