Top Ten Most Wanted Vehicle Crime Offenders Arrested in Penticton
On May 5, 2015, Penticton RCMP responded to numerous break ins of vehicles and residences in Okanagan Falls and Penticton. Identification, credit and bank cards, cash, jewellery, garage door remotes, keys and other various items were taken. Investigation revealed that a number of the credit and bank cards were quickly used around Penticton. RCMP was able to identify a possible suspect vehicle which was believed to have been stolen out of White Rock. Members of IMPACT (Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team) attended Penticton to assist The Penticton Crime Reduction Unit in the investigation.
The investigators began to look for the suspect vehicle which was eventually located in Penticton at the Best Western Hotel. Two of the suspects were known to have 17 outstanding criminal code warrants for their arrest as a result of numerous offences in the Lower Mainland and Okanagan over the past several months. The Kelowna RCMP Street Enforcement Team also attended Penticton to assist in the arrest of the suspects.
On May 7, 2015 at 1:00am, members of Penticton RCMP, IMPACT, and Kelowna RCMP moved in to arrest the suspects. One of the male suspects ran from police and was noted to discard a loaded handgun in a nearby bush. He was pursued by a police service dog and apprehended. Two females and another male suspect were also arrested without incident.
Arrested were 28 year old Matthew SOPER and 21 year old female Laetitia ACERA who are well known crime offenders in the Lower Mainland. Both SOPER and ACERA were featured on IMPACT’s ‘Top Ten” most wanted vehicle crime offenders and SOPER was also on Surrey’s Most Wanted List. The second male suspect arrested has been released pending further investigation
Both SOPER and ACERA and the other female suspect remain in custody as the investigation continues. Preliminary investigation indicates that SOPER was involved in the recent rash of Break Ins and Thefts in Penticton and Okanagan Falls. Further charges are forthcoming.
Here is an excellent example of Detachments and Integrated Teams working together across jurisdictions to remove two prolific offenders off the street and thereby making our respective communities safer.