Digital detective helps police track down snowmobile
When a Surrey man vacationing in Sun Peaks became the victim of a thief, he became a digital detective, scouring the web in an effort that led to the return of his $7,000 snowmobile and the arrest of two people believed to have stolen it.
Kamloops Rural RCMP say the man was on holidays at the ski resort 45 minutes northeast of Kamloops and had enjoyed an afternoon of snowmobiling on Jan. 3.
He had left on his trailer another machine, a 2009 Skidoo Summit XP, valued at $7,000.
When he returned from his snowmobile outing, the skidoo and trailer he had left behind were gone.
The trailer was found days later on a back road in nearby Louis Creek.
The victim decided to check several online sales sites and came across his Summit being sold on kijiji.com for half its value.
The owner started an email conversation with the seller and, at the same time, contacted police.
He eventually arranged to meet the seller in Nakusp to buy the Summit. The seller said he was a two-hour drive away.
Kamloops Rural Mounties, working with their counterparts in the Nakusp and Slocan Valley detachments, went to work, creating a plan to intercept the delivery.
On Wednesday, Jan. 9, officers from the two RCMP Kootenay detachments stopped a Honda CRV with two Kamloops residents inside — a 30-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman.
The pair was hauling the stolen Skidoo Summit XP on a trailer that may also have been stolen.
The couple claimed they had bought the machine a week earlier in Sun Peaks for 25 per cent of its value, a story that raised the eyebrows of Mounties.
Well, it turns out the man driving the Honda that was hauling the stolen Skidoo is the same man who, a week earlier, had tried to sell skis stolen from Sun Peaks in late December.
The owner of the skis told police, who set up a meeting with the man in a parking lot in Kelowna and seized the skis, as well as two laptop computers.
The man remains under investigation for that incident and declined to comment on the similarities of his sale of stolen skis via kijiji the week earlier, the sale of a stolen snow machine on the same website and the use of stolen licence plates on his Honda.
He is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Nakusp.
Police say the man was using an iPhone application to access a different gmail account each time he was selling items on kijiji.