Fake police badge, loaded gun among items seized during North Vancouver traffic stop

Aug 20 2021, 9:11 am

Charges have been approved against a 31-year-old man after police discovered a number of illicit items, including a loaded gun and a fake police badge, during a traffic stop.

According to West Vancouver Police (WVPD), an officer conducted a traffic stop in the 1700 block of Main Street in North Vancouver on July 17.

The officer learned that the driver, a North Vancouver man, was the subject of two arrest warrants, and took him into custody.

WVPD said a search of his vehicle yielded a loaded handgun, weapons, drugs packaged for sale, and “police-like equipment,” including a holster, a fake police badge, and a gun belt.

Some of the items had been hidden in secret compartments throughout the car, police said.

On July 22, WVPD, North Vancouver RCMP, and members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant at the man’s home.

Investigators seized items that they describe as being “consistent with the manufacturing of firearms,” including 3D printers.

Weapons, fake IDs, suspected drugs, and drug paraphernalia were also recovered during the search.

The BC Prosecution Service has now approved a total of seven charges against 31-year-old Thomas Barewski, including one count of unauthorized possession of a firearm.

“Obviously, the guns and drugs, especially the way they were concealed, cause us concern,” said Constable Kevin Goodmurphy.

“The added presence of police-like items and things like 3D printers, elevates our level of concern.”

WPVD said they have so far been unable to connect the incident to the Lower Mainland gang conflict, but officers “continue to explore all avenues.”

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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