A local man is offering a $10,000 reward after approximately $25,000 to $30,000 in items were stolen from his property in Lac des Roches including a side-by-side. Daniel Gallant is offering the reward to anyone who can help him locate the items and provide him with the identity of the thief.
“I went to go out to the lake property in Lac des Roches to go ice fishing Saturday morning … [I] got to my sea can and it was open.”
At that point, he discovered multiple tools, a firearm and a side-by-side were stolen.
He said his Harley was still chained up, probably because they didn’t have room for it.
“I followed the trail of destruction that I learned about and then I thought I would post that reward.”
Gallant believes the theft is part of an organized group and related to methamphetamines, adding that he put the reward out to create pressure on the thieves.
“It would cause paranoia in those that are using meth because of the effects of meth. That was the number one reason why I posted it.”
A 2018 University of Calgary study noted that the timing of the opioid crisis was a plausible explanation for the rise in property crimes there.
Gallant has personal experience with gangs and drugs but gave that up over 17 years ago.
He is now a lawyer and has combatted some of those issues through articles, global speaking engagements and working with law enforcement and government, according to The Law Society of British Columbia.
In response to his reward, he’s thus far had some people who witnessed the vehicles with the side-by-side driving on the highway come forward. He says he’s also been in contact with the provincial government to see how long the data retention on their highway cameras is. He further adds that he’s spoken to a lot of different people, including seven people who’ve recently been robbed and has received video surveillance of thefts at other properties.
Gallant is considering a couple of different next steps.
“What I’m hoping is I get the side-by-side and the firearm back. The side-by-side because it’s worth money and it’s a financial loss. The firearm because of public safety. So that’s the ultimate. The tools can be replaced. I would also like to have the people who’ve been a part of this held accountable.”
When it comes to the police, he says they’re doing what they can and that they’ve taken extraordinary measures because they’re concerned as well but that they’re limited by the resources they have available.
Last week RCMP said there had been some random spikes in break-ins over the last few months.
Looking at the data, according to Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen, break and enters in the 100 Mile RCMP area have remained consistent for several years.
“As of the end of September 2018, we had 33 reported break and enters – this includes residence, business, seasonal and other events (such as sheds). At the end of September 2017, we were at 40 events reported. The projection is to end up somewhere around 55 events for the year, which has been the average for some time. The reporting varies depending on time of year – for example, usually, there is a spike in early spring due to seasonal reporting. The lack of snow has potentially changed that activity this year.”
He points out that their area does not go South beyond Green Lake where a number of events have been reported in the Clinton area recently.
In terms of resources, Nielsen says, “We do have a single crime reduction position here at the local detachment. That position is staffed based off a full complement of members being available for everyday operations. In January 2019, that position will be staffed for the foreseeable future, barring injury or other associated changes to the manpower availability at the local detachment. Day to day calls are such that general duty files are the priority and will remain as such moving forward.”
He adds that the detachment has access to the Central Cariboo Crime Reduction Unit (CCCRU) out of Williams Lake RCMP.
“The plan is for our member to work with that unit sometimes in order to facilitate a consistent approach to these crime trends. The CCCRU is responsible to cover the greater Cariboo region, from Quesnel to 100 Mile and out to Bella Coola as required.”
The members are working hard every day attempting to address the drug and methamphetamine concerns in the community and have made some headway, he says.
“I have remained in regular contact with the community stakeholders in this regard.”
Gallant says that the RCMP is “doing what they can at this point.”
He says his other options include a civil lawsuit based on the information he’s collected and that he would like to see a community response to the multiple meth houses he believes to be operating locally based on the information he’s collected.
“I’m considering looking into concerned community members, who I’m in contact with and have been affected by this and some who just know people who are affected, and organizing an introductory public discussion with the end [goal] of developing a community task force to help people find appropriate ways to deal with stuff and how to arm themselves with what kind of information they can use as evidence.”
The latter is because based on the response he’s received to the reward, people are not aware of all the mechanics of the criminal legalities or the civil legalities and the options that are available. Based on his own life experience from when he was “all messed up” and his profession he says he can help people with that.
Some of the people he’s spoken to were scared for their life when they had items stolen, he says.
“That’s the impact that this has on people,” adding that it’s as far as 70 Mile to Lac la Hache and Interlakes.
Gallant, however, is not scared, he says. While he’s done a lot of bad in the past he doesn’t feel he owes society for that anymore because he’s done a lot of things to counter what he’s done.
“However, as a productive member of any community that I live in, I believe it’s my duty to my community to utilize my skills to benefit the community.”
Anyone who wishes to contact Gallant can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nielsen asks that anyone who has information regarding these concerns or information on a crime can contact the local detachment or Crimestoppers.