Couple arrested for multiple thefts and fraud on Vancouver Island

A couple police believe are responsible for dozens of property crimes throughout central and south Vancouver Island are behind bars.

Gary Peake, 38, and his alleged accomplice, Chelsea Denis-Reid, 24, were arrested in Nanaimo Feb. 20 by the Nanaimo RCMP Street Crimes Unit.

When arrested, Peake and Denis-Reid were in possession of a quantity of stolen identification.

Since the arrests, investigators from Victoria Police Department and RCMP in Ladysmith, Nanaimo and Oceanside  collaborated to bring forth charges against the suspects that include possession of stolen property, fraud, personation, utter forged documents (writing fraudulent cheques) and fraudulent use of credit cards.

Investigators also allege Peake and Denis-Reid hired people in various communities to break into cars and steal items, specifically wallets.

“Amazingly, they were able to find a large number of wallets left in vehicles from here to Victoria”, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

The wallets were then stripped of credit cards and pieces of personal identification. Police allege Peake and Denis-Reid would use the stolen ID to open false bank accounts in the victims' names and order cheques. They would then forge the cheques, deposit them in ATMs and withdraw the cash.

“Investigators have heard from many of their victims who state their financial credit has been permanently jeopardized and they fear they may never recoup on their financial losses," O'Brien said.

Peak and Denis-Reid are being held in custody until they appear in court Tuesday (March 4) to determine if they will be released on a promise to appear at a future date or remain in custody.

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