Police in Nanaimo seized a sawed-off rifle and a sawed off-shotgun from suspects in unrelated incidents on the same day this week.
Both firearms were loaded and were confiscated Tuesday, June 14, according to a Nanaimo RCMP press release.
In the first instance, at about 8 a.m., Nanaimo RCMP bike patrol officers came upon a group of people sitting on the steps leading to the Nanaimo Military Museum. One officer saw that one of the individuals had a “fairly unique” jeweller’s hammer.
“This led to a fulsome discussion on how it was that the individual would have acquired such an item,” the release noted. “The conversation didn’t go well as moments later, officers found a loaded sawed-off [rifle] concealed in his waistband.”
The suspect was arrested and a search of his possessions turned up another 16 rounds of ammunition, police say.
Robert McGeorge, 47, was transported to Nanaimo RCMP detachment cells and later that day had multiple charges sworn against him for weapons, drug possession, possessing break-in tools and for breaching court conditions. McGeorge is being held in custody until his next court appearance Tuesday, June 21.
The next incident happened at about 3 p.m. when officers responded to a report of a man who appeared to be passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle parked on Rosamond Street in Harewood.
When officers woke the individual they suspected he was impaired by drugs and detained him. A check of his clothing turned up a bag that contained suspected crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, MDMA and fentanyl. A loaded sawed-off shotgun was in a backpack on the floor of the vehicle “within arm’s reach of the suspect,” noted RCMP.
A 48-year-old man, from Nanaimo, was held in police custody overnight and was released Wednesday, June 15, to appear in court to face weapons charges next month. Police aren’t yet releasing his name as charges have not been formally laid.
“These two interactions speak volumes to the inherent dangers police officers face on a daily basis,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in the press release. “Disturbingly, officers are finding more and more criminals who have taken to arming themselves with these dangerous modified weapons.”