ON January 15, a traffic stop by the North Vancouver RCMP in the Lower Lonsdale area of North Vancouver resulted in the search of a rental cube van. The lone driver produced identification in another name and was arrested for ‘personation.’
Discovered in the van were bags of stolen mail, various forms of personal identification, including passports, driver’s licenses, SIN cards, credit cards and sophisticated documentation / forgery equipment. Police also seized bags of personal identification that were in the process of being altered as well as complete forged identification. Police estimate that there are over 500 potential victims documented in the seized property.
In addition, police located what’s described as a robbery kit containing zap straps, balaclava, pepper spray, handcuffs and knives.
Police say investigation revealed the stolen property came from robberies, break and enters, thefts from vehicles, thefts of vehicles and mailbox thefts from various communities in the Lower Mainland.
Charged is 27-year-old Surrey resident, Benjamin Best, with ‘personation.’
“This is a complex investigation with thousands of pieces of evidence, requiring detailed examination and documentation,” said Cpl. Richard De Jong of the North Vancouver RCMP. Police are reminding all victims of stolen identification and mail to notify their local police agency of their loss.
Best remains in custody with his next court appearance February 11. It is anticipated that the alleged accused will face additional criminal charges related to this investigation.