Armed forces members in Nanaimo arrested for theft, threats and weapons charges

NANAIMO – Two Canadian Armed Forces members were arrested following a break and enter investigation.

Two members of the Canadian Armed Forces from Nanaimo are in custody and face criminal and weapons charges.

The arrests stemmed from a police investigation into a break and enter of a fast-food restaurant on Dec. 24 when a large quantity of money was taken.

Cory Damian Wagner and Ryan Kevin Verhoeks, both 20, were arrested without incident at their residences on Wednesday at about 6 p.m.

Verhoeks was allegedly found in possession of six firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Verhoeks’s firearms were licensed, but several were not properly secured and did not have trigger locks. None of the ammunition was properly secured.

Verhoeks faces 13 charges, including break and enter, theft over $5,000, two counts of careless storage of a firearm, eight counts of possession of prohibited devices (ammunition magazines) and one count of uttering threats from Verhoeks allegedly threatening people who knew of his involvement in the break and enter.

The undisclosed amount of money taken during the break and enter was not recovered.

Wagner was charged with break and enter, theft over $5,000 and one count of uttering threats.

Both men remain in custody and will appear in Nanaimo provincial court Tuesday (April 10).

Both men are privates with the Canadian Scottish Regiment, Bravo Company, in Nanaimo, but Wagner had recently transfered to the regular forces.

Maj. Dan Thomas, army reserve B.C. spokesman with the 39 Canadian Brigade Group headquarters in Vancouver, said what action the military could take against the two suspects will depend on the results of their court appearance.

“Our key priority right now is to reserve and respect the ongoing criminal justice process, including the RMCP investigation and the court proceedings,” Thomas said. “We will be watching these very carefully and we will be taking advice from [Judge Advocate General] our military people with a view to proceeding carefully, lawfully and fairly.”