Monday, January 15, 2007

Local RCMP would like your attention

While wandering the postings of the local bulletin board htmf this morning, I re-discovered a website that I had forgotten existed, but may be of interest and assistance to those of us living in the Northwest. So we'll provide a link to the site through our portal, you will find it permanently placed on the right hand side column

Items of local interest from the RCMP website.


Prince Rupert School Teacher Arrested for Sexual Assaults

March 29th, 2007,
Prince Rupert BC –

57 year old Michael Anthony KOLESAR, charged for the sexual assaults of a student and one former student appeared before a Judge today in Provincial Court. KOLESAR has been charged with two counts of Sexual Assault and two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Person with a Disability. A publication ban has been issued prohibiting the disclosure of the names of the victims.

KOLESAR was released on bail with a number of conditions including:
- Not to have any contact with his victims or go within one block of their residences
- Not to change his address without written permission of his bail supervisor
- Not to possess any weapons, with the exception of knives for the immediate preparation and consumption of food
- Must surrender his passport
- Must not attend any park, swimming area, day care, school, playground, community centre, or anywhere that children under the age of 14 years are reasonably expected to be present
- Not to seek, obtain, or continue any employment or volunteer work in a capacity that requires being in a position of trust or authority for any person under the age of 14 years
- Not to be alone with anyone under the age of 18 years except for his daughter
- Not to go within one block of Charles Hays Secondary School
- To keep the peace and be of good behavior Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Prince Rupert RCMP at 627-0700.

Anyone observing KOLESAR breaching these conditions is asked to contact the Prince Rupert RCMP at 624-2136 or call your local police.

Prince Rupert School Teacher Arrested for Sexual Assaults
March 29th, 2007,
Prince Rupert BC

- 57 year old Michael Anthony KOLESAR of Prince Rupert, a Special Needs teacher and athletic coach, was arrested and charged for the sexual assaults of a student and one former student. KOLESAR appeared before a Justice Wednesday, charged with two counts of Sexual Assault, Section 271(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada and two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Person with a Disability, Section 153.1 CC. A publication ban has been issued prohibiting the disclosure of the names of the victims.

The offences are alleged to have been committed starting September 1997 up to March of 2007 and that KOLESAR has used his position as a teacher to facilitate a relationship with his victims. The Police investigation is ongoing and Police are releasing the name and photograph of the accused in an effort to further the investigation. Police are concerned that there may be additional victims who have not yet come forward.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Prince Rupert RCMP at 627-0700.


Phone Scam Alert- First Nations Communities Do Not Solicit Monies This Way!

March 21, 2007
Vancouver, BC:

March is Fraud Prevention month, and the RCMP and the BC First Nations Leadership Council are concerned about a number of phone calls being made around BC that are fraudulent in nature.

Over the past few months, a number of individuals and businesses received phone calls from individuals who portrayed themselves as Aboriginal leaders, elders, or representatives of Bands etc. asking for money to support individuals or communities that have been the victim of personal or even high profile tragedies. The fraudsters have claimed they are raising money to assist Aboriginal individuals who have lost their homes in a fire, or even claim they are helping people who have medical costs they can’t pay for.

First Nations Leadership Council of BC, which is comprised of political executives of the First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the BC Assembly of First Nations, would like to advise British Columbians that they would not solicit funds in the manner. “We are worried that fraudsters may be trying to take advantage of the work and reputation of our First Nations communities,” says Insp. Frank Gallagher, Officer in Charge of Aboriginal Policing Services in British Columbia.

“We are committed to working with our Aboriginal communities to increase awareness about these scams that not only take advantage of our First Nations communities, but the generous British Columbians who often want to find ways to assist”.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and a member of the BC First Nations Leadership Council says, “My family and I have been targeted by these devious scam artists many times. The scam artist describes a death in my family and solicits emergency loans from the unsuspecting victims. The real victims in this fraud scheme are the compassionate people who are offering help to a family experiencing the tragic loss of loved one. These are acts that are despicable and disgusting practice of deception”.

“We are concerned that individuals chose to falsely identify themselves in this way in an attempt to obtain funds”, say Inspector Kevin DeBruyckere from the “E” Division Commercial Crime Section. Insp. DeBruyckere says, “Investigations of this nature have shown that fraudsters often sound very official and have learned to convince people of their authority. By using an authority figure’s name, they play on your sense of duty and willingness to assist your community and its leaders, thus compelling one to sometimes comply with the request. An integral component of fraud prevention is public education”.

It is important for the public not to be afraid to ask questions. Get the individual’s name and phone number, so that you can call back and verify who they are. And to be safe, DO NOT give out any personal information over the phone. You can also contact Phone busters at 1-888-495-8501 or They can assist you with the validity of the call and can make you aware of other recent scams.

* PDF of release available as Image 1

Released by: Cpl. Pierre Lemaitre – RCMP Phone#: (604)264-2929 Grand Chief Stewart Phillip – Union of BC Indian Chiefs Phone#: (250)490-5314


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Webmaster "E", DivisionCommunications Section
5255 Heather St.Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6
Phone: (604)264-2929
Fax: (604)264-3200


12 Local Residents Charged with Impaired Driving

March 20th, 2007,
Prince Rupert, BC -

Several local residents have made their first appearance in Prince Rupert Provincial court, charged with Impaired Driving as a result of offences committed around the holiday season of 2006/2007. 12 people were charged with Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle as well as and Operating a Motor Vehicle while over .08 which relates to having a blood alcohol level over 80 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

As previously announced, the Prince Rupert RCMP will release the names of each individual charged criminally with Impaired Driving in our community, in an attempt to further discourage Impaired Driving.

The 12 charged for incidents between December 3rd, 2006 and January 6th, 2007 are:

27 year Van VO
25 year old Michael GIRBAV
46 year old Eric KRISTMANSON
59 year old Diane KIESMAN
42 year old Kenneth HEMBLING
45 year old William ETZERZA
19 year old Emma CHRISTISON
54 year old Kathleen MACGREGOR
31 year old Jeffrey KINNEY
40 year old Duane JACKSON
21 year old Morgan GARRIOCH
33 year old Richards TIMMS

All are residents of Prince Rupert.

Additional people were charged over that time period but have not had their first appearance in court. Their names will be released after that time. Police are hoping that the thought of having their names released will be a further deterrent to potential Impaired Drivers.

To this point, it doesn't appear as though the Criminal Charges and Licence suspension have been enough to deter some people from driving drunk.

Perhaps the thought of all their friends and colleagues knowing about their charges will encourage people to spend the few dollars on a cab ride home.


-->Steve Richards, Cst.
Prince Rupert Media Relations / Community Policing
100 6th Ave WEstPrince Rupert, BC V8J 3Z3
Phone: (250)627-0764
Fax: (250)627-3013


Police are Asking for Help in Identifying a Suspect

March 14th, 2007,
Prince Rupert BC -

The Prince Rupert RCMP are asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect in an assault that took place in February. With the help of the victim, an RCMP forensic sketch artist has created a sketch of the suspect, and police are hoping someone in the Prince Rupert area will be able to identify the young man. The incident took place in the 700 block of 7th Ave West, on February 10th at about 5:45pm. This suspect quickly grabbed an eleven year old girl in a sexual manner then fled the area. The suspect is described as:

- slim build
- in his late teens or early twenties
- fair skinned, likely Caucasian
- he was wearing a beige toque, beige pants, and a dark brown fabric coat with a cream coloured, fluffy inner liner

This assault took place on the Saturday night before the start of the All Native Basketball Tournament and, with all the extra people in town at that time, it's quite possible that the suspect is not a resident of Prince Rupert but likely that someone in town knows him.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cst GARDINER of the Prince Rupert RCMP at 627-0700 or Crimestoppers at 627-8477. Crimestoppers does not require that you leave your name and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

[image 1]

Steve Richards, Cst.Prince Rupert Media Relations / Community Policing
100 6th Ave WEst
Prince Rupert, BC V8J 3Z3
Phone: (250)627-0764
Fax: (250)627-3013


Grow Ops Cost you Money

March 7th, 2007, Prince Rupert BC -

Prince Rupert RCMP are asking the public assistance, to watch for suspicious activities in their neighborhoods, including what may be marijuana grow operations. Police located a Grow Op in Prince Rupert a few weeks ago when it caught on fire. Luckily, this fire was located before it could spread to neighboring house or endanger additional lives but if it wasn't caught that early the results could have been much worse.

Chief Ron Miller of the Prince Rupert Fire Rescue Department, said that a fire like that, that early in the day, would normally burn for a long time before it's detected by residents or neighbors. That time can allow the fire to spread to where it would endanger neighboring houses.

In addition to the dangers that the fire can pose to neighboring properties, they can threaten emergency personal as well. Police and fire fighters that respond to the calls are put at risk by: the fire, chemicals in the house, unsafe electrical wiring, mold that is often caused by grow Ops, and modified structures in the house.

In the past two years, there have been a few Grow Ops discovered in the Prince Rupert area. Three of which have housed a considerable amount of marijuana and two of these have been located due to the fire that they have caused.

People often don't want to get involved, figure that what the neighbors are up to don't concern them. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Aside from the danger that these properties can pose, there is the financial costs. At one point during the fire in February, there were seven firefighters on scene while an additional three stood by at the firehall in case of other calls for service. Many of those firefighters were out on overtime and that overtime is paid by your tax dollars. Properties that contain grow Ops are often abandoned by the owners after the grow is shut down. Even if it isn't fire damaged, the house is often damaged by mold and poses a health threat to the area while bringing down your property values. If the city is forced to deal with the property, that also costs you money. All this while the criminals make money, pushing drugs into your town.

Marijuana Grow Ops are a criminal operation. They bring real health and safety threats into your neighborhood that can impact all residents, not just those living inside the grow op.

Sophisticated Grow Ops require a lot of equipment and it can't be brought in without being noticed. If you see someone bringing in large lights, doing strange electrical or ventilation work, or bringing in odd equipment that seems suspicious, contact police. Grow Ops use enormous light bulbs, lots of potting soil and fertilizers, and often use long duct work to vent their exhaust into huge filters before it vents out of the house. Simply describing that equipment to Police could help identify a Grow Op and shut it down before it can affect your neighborhood. It is unlikely that this Grow Op discovered in February was the only one in town.

We're not asking everyone to "spy" on their neighbors, just keep their eyes open and please, call us before the fire starts.


Five youth arrested for Recent Vehicle Break-Ins

March 6th, 2007, Prince Rupert BC-

Charges are being recommended against several youth, following a Police pursuit early on the morning of Sunday March 4th. Police were called to the BC Ferry Terminal shortly after 05:00 on Sunday morning. A man waiting at the terminal observed several youth trying to break into vehicles and called police on his cell phone.

When members arrived at the terminal, they observed one male run from a nearby truck and jump into a waiting vehicle. That vehicle fled the scene and refused to stop when officers activated their lights and sirens. Police pursued the vehicle through Prince Rupert and eventually to Wantage Road, at the base of Mount Hays.

Although the pursuit was at low speeds and there were very few people on the roads, the pursuit was eventually broken off by police due to the terrible conditions on Wantage Road. The suspect vehicle and four suspects were located a short time later with the assistance of the Police Dog Unit. Two additional suspects were identified by the youth, one of whom turned himself in to Police later in the day. In all, six suspects were identified, five have been arrested.

The youth were all later released to the parents, two of them on a Promise to Appear in court. Charges are being recommended against those two, a 17 year old resident of Prince Rupert faces five counts of Mischief and one of Theft. The driver of the vehicle, also 17 years old, faces five charges of Mischief, and one of theft as well as Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Flight from a Peace Officer, for causing the pursuit.

Charges are being considered against the other four suspects including the sixth suspect who left Prince Rupert on Sunday morning. Prince Rupert RCMP have recovered a large amount of stolen property from the suspect vehicle as well as from the residence of youth and will be working to return those goods to the owners.


Man with a Knife Attacked Police Officers Over Cab Fare

February 19th, 2007, Prince Rupert BC -

Shortly after 8:30pm on Sunday, February 18th, a member of the Prince Rupert RCMP responded to a call in the 700 block of 5th Ave West. A man at that location was refusing to pay his cab fare. When the member arrived, the man had gone inside a residence at the location. The man came outside and spoke with the member who placed him under arrest. After a brief struggle, the man escaped and fled back into the residence. Two additional members arrived and, after announcing themselves, the three members entered the house to re-captured the man who had assaulted the responding member and escaped custody.

Once inside, members were attacked by the same male who had now armed himself with a knife. The three members were able to subdue the man without anyone being serious injured. The man was released from custody the following day on a Promise to Appear in Court, March of 2007. Several charges are being recommended against the 30 year old Prince Rupert resident including: two counts of Assaulting a Peace Officer, one count of Escaping Lawful Custody, one count of Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose, and one count of Fraud in Relation to Fares.

This incident illustrates how a seemingly minor call for service can turn dangerous for police. A man prepared to attack police with a knife, over a few dollars for cab fare, help to remind us as Police Officers, why we must always be alert. Members of the public are often surprised and ask why we sometimes have two or three members respond calls. Incidents like this one demonstrate why, whenever possible, we will respond to calls with more than one member.


A Successful Week for The Prince Rupert RCMP Drug Task Force

From February 5th to February 10th, 2007, the Prince Rupert RCMP developed a task force, from several units of the Prince Rupert RCMP detachment, to target local drug trafficking activities. Four seperate search warrants were successfully executed on four seperate residences during this six day period. The first search warrant was executed on a residence on the 1000 block of 7th Avenue East. As a result of this search warrant a large quantity of marihuana and a sum of cash were seized.

Charges of Possession of Marihuana for the Purpose of Trafficking are being forward against a 48 year old male from Prince Rupert. The second search warrant was in relation to a residence on the 500 block of 6th Avenue West. A quantity of marihuana and cash was again seized from this residence.

This was the second search warrant conducted at this residence in a three month period. Charges for Possession of Marihuana for the Purpose of Trafficking have been submitted in relation to both of these investigations against a 48 year old male from Prince Rupert.

The third search warrant was executed on Thursday night, at a residence on the 200 block of 11th Street. A large quantity of cocaine and cash was seized from this residence. A charge for Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking is being recommended against a 42 year old male from Prince Rupert in this instance.

This same male was also arrested in October 2006 and is facing similar charges for that investigation.

The last search warrant was the result of a residential fire in the 800 block of Comox Avenue, where a marihuana grow operation was located. The fire was identified by a member of the task force who immediately attended the residence and evacuated the occupants, including a one year old and a two year old child.

The Prince Rupert Fire Departement attended to extinguish the fire and located approximately 100 marihuana plants in the attic. This investigation is ongoing and charges are anticipated for Cultivation of Marihuana and Possession of Marihuana for the Purpose of Trafficking. The implementation of this task force was considered a huge success by the Prince Rupert RCMP.

The production and distribution of illicit substances is considered a high priority within our community, and will continue to be a focus with the goal of providing a safer community. The Prince Rupert RCMP wish to thank the members of our community that have supported this endeavor by providing assistance and information. Further inquiries in reference to any of these investigations can be directed to Cpl.Mike TRAAS of the Prince Rupert RCMP General Investigation Section.


Local Man in Custody Following Weekend Assault

January 29th, 2007, Prince Rupert BC - One male has been charged following an assault in the early morning hours of Saturday, January 27th. Police were called to a disturbance in the 1500 block of 7th Ave East, shortly before 2:00 am Saturday morning.

On arrival, police found no one in the residence but found signs of a serious assault. One male was located a short distance from the scene, suffering from serious head injuries.

He was taken to local hospital, treated and released. 33 year old Jeremy GUNANOOT, of Prince Rupert, was identified as the attacker and arrested a short distance away.

GUNANOOT appeared in Prince Rupert Provincial Court Monday, charged with one count of Aggravated Assault and one count of Assault with a Weapon. He was held in custody to reappear in court Tuesday. -30-


Drug investigation leads to over 100 charges

Four Month RCMP Investigation Leads To Over 100 Charges The drug trafficking community in Northern British Columbia was the focus of a undercover police investigation that was initiated by the North District Drug Section in Prince Rupert.

Project E-PARKWAY targeted street level drug traffickers in Queen Charlotte City / Skidegate, Masset, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Nass Valley, New Hazelton, Smithers and Houston.

During the investigation undercover police officers purchased a variety of drugs which included cocaine, marihuana, crack cocaine, morphine, and psilocybin. RCMP members in each of the communities worked in partnership with undercover officers to gather evidence to support more than 100 charges against 53 different suspects.

The charges include: Trafficking a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, unlawful possession of a firearm, unsafe storage of a firearm, breach of probation, breach of undertaking to a judge and breach of a conditional sentence order. In addition to the undercover purchases, local detachment members executed 13 search warrants which resulted in additional drugs being seized as well as 2 firearms.

During the course of the investigation police also seized in excess of $13,000.00 in cash. Several of the suspects had a history of drug convictions, including one individual who had recently been convicted of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

This individual was serving their sentence in the community and bound by strict conditions when they sold drugs to undercover police officers. The suspect is facing additional drug and breach charges. The project, which was conducted from September to December 2006, was highly successful and has impacted a number of drug traffickers in each community.

Members of the RCMP will continue to target anyone involved in the illegal drug trade and is committed to ensuring safe homes and safe communities.

The RCMP is also asking each and every citizen to do their part in ensuring safe communities by reporting any information regarding drug trafficking or marihuana grow operations to their local RCMP detachments or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


Boy injured in toboggan/truck incident

Young Boy Injured in Toboggan vs Pickup Truck Collision
January 15th, 2007, Prince Rupert BC -

At approximately 8:15pm on January 11th, Prince Rupert RCMP members responded to a traffic accident in the 1300 block of 7th Ave East.

An eleven year old boy suffered a broken leg when he slid down his snow covered driveway into the street, colliding with a passing vehicle. The boy was taken to local hospital by ambulance, to be treated for his injuries.

Responding members stated the boy was lucky to escape the collision with only a broken leg. One second sooner or later and the boy's injuries could have been much more severe.

A retaining wall and a vehicle parked roadside blocked the boy from the driver's sight until it was too late for the driver to avoid the collision.

While Prince Rupert's snow is melting away with recent rain, Police are asking parents to keep this in mind for the next snowfall.

The roadway is not a safe area for children to sled into.


Update of status of high risk sex offender, released by courts and residing in Prince Rupert.

**Update** MCKAY Arrested for Breach of Release Conditions January 15th, 2007, Prince Rupert BC - At approximately 8:00 pm, January 14th, members of the Prince Rupert RCMP arrested Ronald Lawrence MCKAY for breaching the conditions of his release. MCKAY was required to report to the Prince Rupert RCMP by 10:30am that morning but failed to do so.

With information that MCKAY was on route to Prince Rupert aboard a commercial bus, members stopped and boarded that bus on Highway 16 near Prince Rupert. MCKAY was arrested without incident.

MCKAY appeared in Prince Rupert Provincial Court Monday afternoon, charged with three counts of Breach of Recognizance. He was released by the court and will be residing in Prince Rupert.

-->Steve Richards, Cst.Prince Rupert Media Relations / Community Policing100 6th Ave WEstPrince Rupert, BC V8J 3Z3Phone: (250)627-0764Fax: (250)627-3013Email:


Some information regarding an individual of interest to RCMP, who apparently is planning on taking up residence in the Prince Rupert area.

High Risk Sex Offender- Public Interest Notification The RCMP has issued a public interest warning under the Privacy Act of Canada regarding a dangerous sex offender who poses a high risk of serious violence.

MCKAY, Ronald Lawrence - 43 years old Height - 5'6" and 194 lbs Brown eyes and Dark Brown long hair Many tattoos on his upper body Several tattoos on his left hand and wrist including a cross on his left middle finger Ronald Lawrence MCKAY was released from Mountain Federal Corrections Institution on January 12th, 2007 and police believe he planned to reside in Prince Rupert, BC but his whereabouts is currently unknown.

Most recently, MCKAY was convicted of three charges including Assault, Assault with a Weapon, and Sexual Assault with a Weapon. Ronald Lawrence MCKAY is considered Highly Dangerous to the Public.

There is a high risk that MCKAY will re-offend violently against a female including a sexual assault.

MCKAY’s has an extensive criminal history that includes violent sexual offences and weapons related offences. MCKAY is subject to many court ordered conditions including:

- To keep the peace and be of good behavior
- Not to possess, carry, or own any weapons including knives except for carving and for the immediate preparation and consumption of food
- Not to consume or possess any alcohol or controlled substances - Not to attend any licenced premise or establishment where alcohol is the primary commodity for sale
- Not to be outside his residence between 11:00pm and 6:00am
- To immediately inform a Probation Officer of a relationship with any intimate partner and to consent to that partner being informed of his Criminal Record in the presence of a Probation Officer
- Not to possess any needles or syringes
- Must submit to having his picture taken by any Peace Officer at any time
- Must report to the RCMP and Probation within 48 hours of his release from custody and thereafter as directed
- Must reside in a place approved by a Probation Officer and must not change that address without prior written approval of a Probation Officer
- Not to leave the Province of British Columbia without approval of a Probation Officer
- Attend and participate in assessments and counseling as directed by a Probation Officer Should you note any suspicious behavior including, but not limited to a breach of these conditions, please contact the Prince Rupert RCMP Detachment at (250)624-2136.

[image 1]

Steve Richards, Cst.Prince Rupert Media Relations / Community Policing100 6th Ave WEstPrince Rupert, BC V8J 3Z3Phone: (250)627-0764Fax: (250)627-3013Email:


A request for help regarding a suspicious vehicle fire in the 200 block of 9th Avenue East.

Police Investigate Suspicious Vehicle Fire January 13th, 2007, Prince Rupert BC -Police are investigating a vehicle fire which occurred on the 200 block of 9th Avenue East between the hours of 2am and 6am, Janurary 13th 2007. Unknown suspects entered the vehicle through an unlocked door.

The suspects moved some materials in the back of the vehicle before igniting the fire. The ignition source of the fire is still under investigation. Damage to the vehicle is estimated to be approximately $1500 .

Police are also asking for the public's assistance in locating the suspect(s) in this investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cst PETTIGREW of the Prince Rupert RCMP at 627-0700 or Crimestoppers at 627-8477. Crimestoppers does not require that you leave your name and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

Steve Richards, Cst.Prince Rupert Media Relations / Community Policing100 6th Ave WestPrince Rupert, BC V8J 3Z3Phone: (250)627-0764Fax: (250)627-3013Email:


Poor conditions result in numerous traffic accidents

Numerous Accidents Caused by Poor Road Conditions
January 11, 2007, Prince Rupert, BC -

Police are reminding local drivers to slow down for the recent weather and road conditions. RCMP have responded to numerous accidents in the past week that have been caused, in part, by poor road conditions. Those accidents have ranged from minor fender benders to rollovers causing irreparable damage to the vehicle.

Police recommend equipping your vehicle with four winter tires but remind drivers that extra care is still required when driving on snow and ice. Your local tire dealer can help you with selecting an appropriate tire for you vehicle. Allow extra distance between yourself and other vehicles on the road and plan far in advance of your next turn or stop.

Drivers with four wheel drive vehicles must also remember that, while your vehicle may accelerate better on the slick roads, it can't stop any shorter unless equipped with good winter tires.

When traveling long distances in poor weather conditions, drivers should plan for delays. At the very least, travelers should carry some food and blankets in the vehicle. Also remember that your vehicle burns more fuel in the cold weather and you may be stopped on the highway for extended periods of time in poor weather conditions.

Plan ahead and keep extra fuel in your tank.

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