A file photo of the Fort McPherson RCMP detachment.
Two men from British Columbia are facing multiple criminal charges related to vehicle theft and drug trafficking on June 21 in Fort McPherson.
Prior to the men’s arrest, Fort McPherson residents found the two men and were “aggressively assaulting” them, according to an RCMP news release.
The series of events kicked off early on Wednesday, when Fort McPherson RCMP received a report of a stolen vehicle shortly after 1am.
When police found the truck, the men “refused to stop and drove away at a high rate of speed.”
Police decided pursuing the truck wouldn’t be safe.
Later, RCMP said, the “two males were swarmed by Fort McPherson residents just outside the community” and were assaulted.
The police said they de-escalated the fight, arrested the two men – Nuno De Sousa and Zachary Sullivan, – and opened an investigation.
In the stolen truck, police found 43 bags of what they suspect is crack cocaine, along with $2,230.
De Sousa and Sullivan are facing multiple charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds obtained by crime, vehicle theft, dangerous operations, flight from a police officer, mischief over $5,000, and two charges of failing to comply.
“We understand the frustrations being voiced. Every crime that is committed has an effect on the community, and it impacts our wider sense of safety. We know people in our communities want to feel safe. No one, however, can operate outside the law to confront those that are believed to be breaking it,” said Inspector Yannick Hamel in the news release.
“Police work is extremely complex, our investigations must be conducted justly and fairly, and within the parameters of the law,” he said, adding investigations take time and police need to ensure they have evidence to support criminal charges.
“While the public may want faster outcomes, we cannot circumvent our responsibilities under the law,” Hamel said.
“Those who attempt to take matters into their own hands outside the legal process put themselves, and their communities, at risk. This includes a very real threat of escalating violence, of serious injury or death and, further exhausting our limited policing resources.
“These actions can also impede ongoing investigations and evidence gathering, as well as future court proceedings. Anyone involved in vigilante activities risk faces arrest and legal proceedings themselves. There are no quick solutions regarding crime.”
Hamel encouraged people to report crime, suspicious behaviour, and threats to public safety to police.