Two teens were arrested in Nanaimo on the weekend on suspicion of stealing two cars, one of which was a police bait car. (News Bulletin file photo)

Two teens were arrested in Nanaimo on the weekend on suspicion of stealing two cars, one of which was a police bait car. (News Bulletin file photo)

Two arrested in bait car sting in Nanaimo

Police arrest two teens suspected of stealing at least 20 vehicles

A bait car sting in Nanaimo has nabbed two suspects suspected of being involved in more than 20 vehicle thefts.

According to police, investigators were alerted to a bait car activation just before 1 a.m. Saturday and followed the vehicle to the area of Hammond Bay and Applecross roads where the officers decided it was a safe to immobilize and shut the engine off.

A 17-year-old youth was arrested in the stolen bait car and taken into custody without incident.

A few moments later, a second youth, age 16, crashed a late model Honda and then fled on foot.

A Police Services Dog was called track him, but officers found him a short time later trying to call a taxi . The suspect was not injured in the crash and investigators found out the vehicle he was driving was also stolen.

Police contacted the boys’ parents and later that same day, the two were released on conditions and charged with numerous property-related offences.

Both suspects will make their first court appearances in Nanaimo provincial court on Jan. 18.

“These two boys are believed to be responsible for the recent spike in stolen cars, which began on or about Oct. 9 throughout Nanaimo and involved upwards of 20 late model Honda products,” Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said in a press release. “The investigation into these thefts is continuing and more charges are expected to be laid against the two.”

Police advise vehicle owners to always lock their vehicles and leave nothing of value in plain view and if anyone is seen acting suspiciously in the vicinity of parked vehicles, to call the Nanaimo RCMP immediately.

Bait cars are everywhere and come in all shapes sizes and makes of cars and trucks. To learn more about the bait car program, visit www.baitcar.com or follow @officialbaitcar on Twitter.