RCMP forensics investigators work on Wakesiah Avenue

2016 Year in Review: Top crime stories in Nanaimo

NANAIMO - Nanaimo saw its share of shootings, drug busts and overdoses.

Bullets flew on Wakesiah Avenue March 1 when two men allegedly tried to gun down a man in his car.

The gunmen missed, but multiple rounds fired into several parked vehicles triggered a police chase that ended in Duncan and injured two RCMP officers.

Armaan Singh Chandi, 18, of Surrey and Inderpal Singh Aujla, 19, of Mission, were arrested and are scheduled to stand trial in Nanaimo provincial court in May for attempted murder and a range of other firearms and motor vehicle charges.

Craig Andrew Ford, 49, of Nanaimo died when he was shot by police in June.

Ford was shot on Country Club Drive behind St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church after he allegedly brandished a knife in a fast food restaurant.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. continues its probe into Nanaimo’s first fatal police shooting since October 2009.

Nuisance properties claimed their share of news in 2016. Townhouse complex King Arthur Court, with a long history of drug trafficking, piles of garbage and violence, was being cleaned up by new manager Fred Williams, but nevertheless earned its second nuisance property designation in April.

A rooming house at 522 Hecate St. was also written up for fights, assaults, domestic disputes and public disturbances and houses at 2020 Swordfern Rd. in Extension and at 573 Rosehill St. also earned nuisance labels for complaints about drugs, stolen property and assault.

The city investigated 262 unsightly property files in 2016.

Thomas James Anderson was charged with two counts of arson for allegedly starting a blaze in the Globe Hotel on Front Street that caused fire and smoke damage and displaced 12 tenants July 21. Anderson appears in court Jan. 19.

Statistics for overdoses and fatal overdoses, largely due to fentanyl and other synthetic opioid derivatives, in 2016 shot past 2015 figures. As of the end of November, 25 people in Nanaimo died and emergency workers treated more than 400 overdose cases.

RCMP members across B.C. were issued naloxone antidote kits in October in case officers come in contact with the drug. Also that month, Mounties pulled over a car near Nanaimo Airport Oct. 10 and found cash and one kilogram of fentanyl, one of B.C.’s biggest fentanyl seizures in the last several years.

The RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Group on Vancouver Island investigation continues its investigation into the case.

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