Crime spree likely work of two suspects
An RCMP spokesperson says police believe one couple is responsible for a recent crime wave occurring in the Castlegar - Nelson - Salmo triangle.
Trail-based Corporal Kent Drover told the Castlegar News on June 2 that for a number of reasons police are satisfied they have the right parties identified with respect to all of the incidents, including Kootenay Savings hold-ups in Salmo and Castlegar as well as various pharmacy break-ins and an armed robbery at Johnny's Groceries and Gas in Robson.
The prime suspect is Andrew Stevenson, 33, who was apprehended along with his common-law spouse Kristi Kalmikoff in late April.
Charges in all of the offences have apparently been forwarded to the Crown.
"We believe the same person or people are responsible for all the robberies," outlined Cpl. Drover. "There was evidence that linked the two investigations together. The people arrested after the last robbery in Nelson, were also charged with the break-ins."
The pair was arrested in relation to the Nelson District Credit Union robbery on April 25.
Prior to that date there had been a series of robberies dating back to November 2013 at Simply Shoppers Pharmacy, formerly Paragon Pharmacy, of Castlegar.
Since the pair has been apprehended there have been no further incidents.
As for the one culprit theory, Cpl. Drover said, "It's one thing to believe it, it's another thing to prove it, so we've completed our investigation into all the robberies. All that information has been sent to Crown Council up in Nelson. Whether or not we'll get charge approval on all of them remains to be seen. It's going to be based on whether the evidence supports those charges or not."
Stevenson, next due in Nelson Provincial Court on June 10, faces 15 counts including unlawfully discharging a firearm, robbery, and break and enter. His co-accused, Kristi Kalmikoff, was released on $40,000 bail.