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article imageVancouver Police make fifth arrest in Con Air program

By Arthur Weinreb     Aug 2, 2011 in Crime
Vancouver - In less than a week, half the people named in the current Con Air's 10 Most Wanted List have been arrested in Vancouver and will be returned to the jurisdictions they fled to avoid prosecution.
Yesterday, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) announced the arrest of the fifth person on the most wanted list that was released only last Tuesday. As reported by the Vancouver Province, Colin Alain Bouchard, 34, was arrested in downtown Vancouver Sunday night after police received an anonymous tip.
Bouchard, of Ottawa, fled the nation's capital after he became the subject of 113 arrest warrants. These included six warrants for break and enter, 23 for mischief under $5,000 and nine for theft under. He is also the subject of 62 warrants for failing to appear and breach of probation.
According to the Vancouver Police Department, Bouchard was investigated by officers last June 22. Although he was not charged with any offences during the encounter, officers were shocked when they conducted a routine check and discovered the number of warrants that were outstanding against him.
In Canada, it is the responsibility of the jurisdiction seeking the return of fugitives to arrange and pay for their return. This includes not only transportation charges but the cost of sending officers to pick up and return the fugitive. And police departments do not have unlimited budgets.
In the most serious criminal matters, Canada-wide warrants are issued. But in most cases the warrant contains a geographical radius outside of which police are unwilling to pick up and return the wanted person. In Bouchard's case, all the warrants were subject to a 400 km radius which is why, in the absence of believing he had committed a new offence, Vancouver police had to let him go when they investigated him in June.
Were it not for the Con Air program, Bouchard with his 113 warrants would still be free to walk the streets of Vancouver. Con Air was begun in 2007 and funds have been provided by the provincial government. The government of B.C. used money seized from criminals to fund the program. The Vancouver Police Department will now return to Bouchard to Ottawa where the warrants against him will be executed.
Vancouver, a major Canadian city with a relatively temperate climate, is an attractive city for criminals as well as those who are law abiding citizens. Fugitives like Bouchard flee to the city where it is only a matter of time before many of them become involved in criminal activities in their adopted home. The Vancouver Police Department is doing what it can to return these fugitives when their own jurisdictions will not bring them back.
Although failing to appear in court or failing to comply with court ordered conditions are offences, there is no specific crime for fleeing the jurisdiction. The VPD would like to see a new law that would make it a specific offence to leave a jurisdiction in which an arrest warrant has been issued.
More about con air, vancouver police department, colin alain bouchard, Arrest warrants
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