B.C.’s anti-gang unit is monitoring a new motorcycle club called the Savages operating out of the Langford clubhouse previously used by the Devil’s Army.
The Savages are believed to be a puppet club of the Nanaimo chapter of the Hells Angels, said Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, spokeswoman for B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, which targets organized crime groups. The Savages have set up headquarters at 2775 Spencer Rd., which was vacated by fellow Hells Angels puppet club, the Devil’s Army, a few months after it opened in May 2015.
Surveillance officers have spotted members of the new motorcycle club during group rides with the Hells Angels and its affiliates.
“We have seen them on the last couple of rides the Hells Angels have had on the Island,” Winpenny said. “So they are out there, they are publicly announcing themselves as being associated with the Hells Angels.”
About 100 bikers including full-patch Hells Angels rumbled through Langford on April 1 during a memorial ride for Mike Widner, a prospect for the motorcycle gang who was killed in March in what police believe was a targeted hit.
On April 30, bikers rode from Nanaimo to Victoria in the annual ride in memory of Michael (Zeke) Mickle, the Nanaimo Hells Angels president who disappeared in 1993 and is presumed dead.
It’s unclear how many members are in the Savages. Their patch features a muscular man who resembles a Viking sporting a long blond beard and wielding an ax.
On Tuesday, about 20 motorcycles were parked behind the clubhouse’s black fence, which was marked with signs that read “private property.”
Rick Alexander, who heads the Devil’s Army, said in an email the Savages are a “riding club,” not a motorcycle club, but did not elaborate on the difference between the two.
Alexander said his group is not connected to the Savages in any way. “I’ve been there since they moved in but don’t really know any of them,” he said.
Winpenny said while it does not appear the public is at risk, she said it’s important for people to be aware of the new group.
“This new club is associating themselves with a criminal organization so I think the public would want to be aware of that and understand exactly who these people are,” she said.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit is in contact with West Shore RCMP but Winpenny said she’s unaware of any criminal investigations initiated by the local detachment.
West Shore RCMP did not respond to a request for comment.
Langford Mayor Stew Young said the new motorcycle club is “on the RCMP’s radar.”
“The RCMP are ensuring us as a community that they are monitoring it and they will make sure that the neighbourhood is safe and any illegal activity, just like anywhere in Langford, they will be on it,” Young said.
Young said he’s not aware of any recent incidents that have caused trouble for the neighbourhood. When the clubhouse opened in May 2015, Young said at the time he received thousands of complaints about its proximity to two schools, a daycare and a seniors’ trailer park.