ATM thieves located and arrested
By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
The RCMP have finally gotten their men.
Three months after two suspects allegedly broke in and robbed West Kootenay Boundary area automated teller machines (ATM), they have been located and arrested.
Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment General Investigation Section reported late Wednesday afternoon that two suspects are in police custody and each are charged with three counts of break and enter.
In late November RCMP had identified the individuals in the ATM robberies that plagued the Slocan Valley and Castlegar back in mid September.
Following up on some evidence obtained from the crime scenes allowed police to narrow the search for the perpetrators.
“However, they are evading police arrest and contact, so they may have left the jurisdiction because efforts haven’t been successful in locating them,” said Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment staff Sgt. Dan Seibel back in December. “Who knows where they are or what they are up to … but it’s just a matter of time.”
That time came on Dec. 17 when Julian Alexander Hoekstra, 35, was arrested by RCMP in Surrey in connection with the ATM incidents. Hoekstra will appear for a bail hearing on Jan. 13 in Rossland Provincial Court.
Nine days after Hoekstra was arrested the other suspect, Darrin Christopher Hoffman, 37, was arrested by South Okanagan RCMP in Osoyoos. Hoffman’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 10 in Rossland Provincial Court.
The culprits broke into the Heritage Credit Union in Slocan Park at 1:25 a.m. on Sept. 15, but all they likely got away with were a few stacks of empty deposit envelopes.
Upon entry into the facility, thieves attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to break into the automated teller machine. Considerable damage occurred to the building and ATM as a result.
It was likely the thieves cased out the financial institution and ATM ahead of time, or perhaps had some local knowledge, prior to committing the offence, said Sgt. Siebel.
The same robbers likely hit an after-hours ATM at the Kootenay Regional Airport in Castlegar Sept. 10, as well as a break-in at the Kootenay Savings financial institution in South Slocan on Sept. 13.
In Castlegar, the ATM was broken into and the contents were removed. The amount stolen was not released by police.