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Suspect nabbed for filling up for free
Nanaimo Mounties have pinched a man suspected of pilfering propane to power his pickup.
The arrest happened last week after an investigation was fueled by thefts of propane, acetylene, gasoline and diesel Jan. 2-3 from Nanaimo Ice Centre on Third Street, Emco Plumbing and Heating on Dorman Road and General George R. Pearkes Senior Citizens Housing Society Care Centre on Buttertubs Drive.
Eleven 40-lb. propane tanks, used to fuel Zambonis, were stolen from an outside storage shed Nanaimo Ice Centre.
"Members obtained video surveillance of a suspicious blue pickup truck in the area at the time of the theft," said Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. "Two days later they found that truck being operated by a 38-year-old male in the Extension area Jan. 5 at about 8:30 at night."
Police found several propane tanks and tools commonly used for break-ins in the back of the 1980 GMC Sierra pickup. Investigators followed up with a search of a residence on Spruston Road, south of Nanaimo, where they found several more propane tanks.
"They weren't just generic tanks," O'Brien said. "We were able to match the couplings, that were seized from the truck and the second location on Spruston Road, to those fitting propane tanks at the ice centre, for fitting them to a Zamboni."
Each tank, filled with propane, is worth about $350. Police recovered seven tanks, which were returned to the city.
The suspect was allegedly using the propane to run his truck.
The suspect is scheduled to appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court April 23 to face a recommended charge of possession of stolen property under $5,000.
The investigation is continuing to determine if the suspect was involved in the thefts on Dorman Road and Buttertubs Drive.
"We believe this person or others associated to this individual may be involved with other propane thefts, but we haven't been able to put him to those," O'Brien said.
Anyone with information about these thefts is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.