Police say gang of youth suspected in Penticton crime spree

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Break-ins, vehicle thefts, mischief, arson, assault with bear spray and more are suspected to be caused by the same group of youth.

RCMP reported that on Jan. 28 at approximately 9 p.m. Penticton RCMP began to receive complaints of a group of youth causing problems in the area of Power Street, Churchill Road and Lakeshore Drive.

Police patrolled the area and at 10 p.m. they came across a male who had been assaulted with bear spray, who was transported to Penticton Regional Hospital for treatment. This male was not cooperative in assisting police in identifying who bear sprayed him.

At 10:39 p.m. police received a report of six young people running around Lakeshore Drive associated with a van parked nearby, the only description was that they were wearing dark clothing and making lots of noise. The youths were gone upon police arrival and the van appeared to have a tampered ignition but had not been reported stolen. The registered owners were contacted and surprised to learn their van was not in the driveway of their Latimer Street residence.

At 11 p.m., a resident of Power Street reported that a male had entered her basement suite through a window and when she confronted him she was bear sprayed, police said. Police attended and cleared the residence and the occupants were transported to Penticton Regional Hospital for decontamination.

The suspect was described as a young male with no facial hair, Caucasian, very pale, approximately six feet tall, thin, wearing a black hoody and dark pants.

Throughout the night there were several reports of youth kicking down fences, lighting napkins on fire at a doorway of Penticton Secondary School and smashing a car window on Forestbrook Drive.

“Do you have a teenage son? Where was he last night? Who was he with? Did he and his friends steal a car, assault people with bear spray, break into houses, break car windows, commit arson and other endless mischief in Penticton?” said Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth, spokesperson for the Penticton RCMP.

As all of these crimes were happening, police responded to the Brandon Avenue break and enter of the 95-year-old woman's residence in an unrelated incident.

Police have a number of leads and have identified potential suspects in these matters and will continue to investigate. If the public has any information that can assist in identifying the culprits please call the Penticton RCMP or Crimestoppers.


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