Mounties hunting B&E suspects in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspects who smashed into gas station to steal cigarettes.

Police are looking for thieves who smashed into the Petro-Canada gas station at the corner of Terminal and Princess Royal avenues in Nanaimo Tuesday morning.

Witnesses called police at about 4:50 a.m. when they heard banging and glass breaking at the gas station and reported they saw suspects load a glass cabinet into a white van, which fled the scene.

Members who attended the scene discovered a cabinet that had contained cigarettes was missing and started searching for the van, which they found at 4:56 a.m. crashed into a  utility pole at the corner of Loat Street and Departure Bay Road.

The suspects had fled the scene.

Const. Sherri Wade, Nanaimo RCMP spokeswoman, had no information on whether police recovered the cabinet or its contents.

B.C. Hydro crews attended shortly before 6 a.m. to repair the damaged utility and downed power lines. It did report any power outages resulting from the crash.

The break and enter is under investigation and police are still searching for suspects.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at