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A violent offender from the lower mainland has been arrested by Merritt Mounties.

Staff Sgt. Lorne Wood provided the details on yesterday’s arrest.

“Merritt RCMP Members were called to a report of a male near Comstock Rd on Hwy 5 with a broken bicycle. A member attended to check the man's well being,” said Wood. “After spending some time to determine the man's real name it was determined that he was a known violent offender from the Lower Mainland who had walked away from court-imposed treatment in an attempt to make it back to the Lower Mainland.”

The 27-year-old male was arrested for breaching his conditions and obstructing a peace officer.

He is being held for a court appearance later today.

 

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Over the past weekend, the Merritt RCMP was able to arrest several people on suspected theft and break and enter charges.

Staff Sgt. Lorne Wood provided Q101 with the details of a few recent files.

“It was an extremely busy end of the week and weekend for the Merritt RCMP Detachment. The Merritt Detachment would like to thank residents and business owners who assisted investigators with the rash of break and enters and theft from motor vehicles that occurred over the past ten days. Witnesses called reported crimes in progress, provided crucial video surveillance and other information that was key to investigators,” said Wood.

Wood mentioned that the detachment has recently seen a change in the way motor vehicle thefts have occurred.

“Over the summer there had been a large spike in reported theft from motor vehicles. In these cases, the vehicles were overwhelmingly unlocked. The recent change was that a subject or subjects were now smashing vehicle windows to gain access and steal items such as loose change and sunglasses,” said Wood. “Several residents in Merritt assisted the police greatly with turning over surveillance video and reporting suspicious activity.”

On October 24, a resident on Granite called in a suspicious male reaching into a parked car through a hole smashed through the car window. The suspect was then observed to unlock the car and make entry to rummage through the interior.

The male then left the area on a very identifiable bike. Based on the description provided a 27-year-old male well known to the local Detachment was located with the bike as described.

The suspect was arrested for theft and mischief to the car. As soon as he was detained the suspect attempted to flee and resisted arrest.

A later search of the suspect found several tools that would be consistent with the rash of broken car windows.

“The suspect was held in custody for a court appearance this week and is facing charges of Possession of Break & Enter Instruments, Theft and Resisting Arrest,” added Wood.

 

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After losing their Planning and Development Manager, the City of Merritt has made a pair of hires.

CAO Scott Hildebrand announced that the City had hired a new HR Manager as well as a new Manager of Planning.

“We have hired a new manager of planning, his name is Don McArthur, he’ll be starting on December 9,” said Hildebrand.

It was mentioned that the City is currently covered by one of its contractors ensuring that the department continues to operate smoothly until McArthur arrives.

“We have a new HR Manager, her name is Christine Karlsson, she’ll be starting November 12,” added Hildebrand.

The new hires bring City Hall back to a full complement of staff.

 

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As the City prepares to open applications for the 2020 Grant in Aid intake, Council has approved a list of changes to the procedure.

Along with some changes to the actual dollar figure attached to the grants, the Council has also had the language of the document cleaned up to make the process clearer.

Director of Finance Sheila Thiessen addressed some of the headline changes.

“We’ve established an annual limit of $50,000 plus individual limits of $7,500 per organization and $500 for sports teams or individuals attending competitions,” said Thiessen.

Mayor Linda Brown also discussed a change in how the City will be paying out the grants.

“We are attaching a final payment to a final report,” added Brown.

The report will need to highlight how the funds were used and how it benefited the community. Those who don’t provide a report will be excluded from any future grant funding.

For full details on the new regulations visit the City’s website.

 

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Merritt RCMP Cpl. Brock Hedrick has provided Q101 with an update on an August manhunt along Highway 8.

“The Merritt RCMP were alerted to a suspicious male in the Canford area west of Merritt along Highway 8. Merritt members attended and noted two males with what was suspected to be a stolen Ford Superduty. The responding officer arrived and told both males that they were under arrest, one of the males surrendered, however, the second male took off on foot,” wrote Hedrick.

It was later determined that the male who remained at the scene was an innocent bystander who was not involved with the stolen vehicle.

“Police utilized Air Services along with a Police Dog in an effort to take the male into custody. The suspect was arrested the following day without incident,” added Hedrick.

The male was identified as Derek John Ledgard, 26, from Kamloops who was charged with the following offences.

- Count one: Possession of stolen property over $5000
- Count two: Possession of stolen property under $5000
- Count three: Possess a weapon for a dangerous purpose
- Count four: Possess prohibited weapon
- Count five: Obstruct a peace officer
- Count six: Drive while prohibited
- Count seven: Possession of a controlled substance

On October 17th,2019 Ledgard was sentenced to 163 days in Jail for count one. Two months in jail for Count Six and a one-year driving prohibition. In relation to Count seven, he was issued a fine of $600.
In the other four charges, Crown entered a stay of proceedings.

Ledgard had been held in prison since his arrest in August.

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