A stolen licence plate led to the arrest of a 28-year-old Chilliwack man accused of auto theft and obstructing police last month.
Michael Joseph Hasell was arrested April 19 after a brief foot chase with officers who tracked him down in the 46000-block of Eric Drive.
The arrest stemmed from a Chilliwack RCMP Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) investigation into a report of a stolen licence plate received in early April, according to Mounties. During the investigation, CRU officers supported by the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT) linked a suspect to a stolen car and licence plates allegedly stolen from automobiles throughout the Fraser Valley over the month.
On April 19, the investigation led CRU and IMPACT officers to Eric Drive where Hasell allegedly fled, but was quickly apprehended and taken into custody by police.
Michael Joseph Hasell faces once charge of possession of stolen property over $5000, two counts of possession of stolen property under $5000, and one count of obstructing a peace officer. Hasell remains in custody pending a court appearance May 9.
“Partnerships between police agencies are vital to reducing auto crime but the most important partner in this fight is the general public,” said Insp. Brian MacDonald, Officer in Charge of IMPACT. “The police need the public’s help. Motorists are reminded to lock your cars and do not make your car a display case for thieves by leaving valuables inside.”
“Criminals do not recognize municipal boundaries,” Chilliwack RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail said. “Law enforcement partners working together are an essential component to keeping our community safe.”
Hasell has a long record of charges in provincial court dating back to 2007 for, among other offences, robbery, assault and possession of stolen property.
He faces a trial May 23 for assault stemming from an incident on Christmas Day last year.
To prevent theft of motor vehicles, police recommend: investing in a good anti-theft device; securing licence plates with bolts; for those with a garage, use it; and do not keep spare keys in vehicles.