Police find baby bear in cage during arrest at BC residence

Jun 15 2020, 5:10 pm

What might have seemed at first like a relatively standard call turned out to be anything but for BC RCMP officers in the community of Hudson’s Hope, recently.

In a release on Monday, police said that on June 9, officers attended to a residence to arrest a man for dangerous driving and theft.

Upon arrival at the residence, officers observed several stolen items related to a number of thefts in the area as well as a caged black bear cub.

Police said a warrant for the property was subsequently sought and executed with the assistance of BC Conservation Service. The bear cub was seized by the BC Conservation Service and was transported to a wildlife sanctuary.

RCMP

Beyond just the caged animal though, a search of the residence and property “resulted in a number of illegally stored/stolen firearms, tools, seven stolen vehicles including pick up trucks, ATV’s, motorcycles, medical gear and various other items,” police said.

Now, 25-year-old Justin Thibault is in custody pending a bail hearing and is facing a “laundry list” of firearms and possession of stolen property charges, as well as dangerous operation of a vehicle, break and enter and a wildlife charge, police said.

A 29-year-old woman was also arrested and was released with a future court date.

Speaking about the incident, Hudson Hope RCMP Cpl. Rob Gardner called it “a great initial investigation done by the Hudson’s Hope RCMP officers, followed up by the support of the Fort St John Police Dog Services, North District General Investigation Section, Forensic Identification Services, officers from neighbouring detachments and the BC Conservation Services.”

The cooperative effort, he added, “led to the seizure and soon-to-be returned stolen property worth thousands of dollars. Further, the safe recovery of a small bear cub.”

In the wake of this incident, police in the region are asking that if anyone has been a victim of a theft but has not yet reported it to contact Hudson’s Hope RCMP at 250-783-5241 to inform them.

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