An 18-year-old man believed to be involved in the Lower Mainland gang conflict was arrested Wednesday in Abbotsford, and police say the public can expect to hear more about these types of incidents in the future.
Const. Ian MacDonald of the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) said details about gang arrests will become more prevalent, both to inform the public of the APD’s enforcement measures and to provide information on gang activity.
MacDonald said the APD and its gang task force want their main message to be that individuals who involve themselves in gang activity are going to be arrested “at every opportunity” and will be the subject of ongoing targeted enforcement.
They also hope that young people seeing the information, and who might look up to some of these individuals, might think twice about getting involved in criminal activity when they are more aware of the outcome.
“We think it’s an important message (to spread) of enforcement and prevention,” MacDonald said.
On Wednesday, the APD gang task force arrested 18-year-old Inderdeep Minhas after he failed to appear in court for three firearms-related offences and for obstructing a police officer.
The charges stem from an incident on May 20, when the APD received a 911 call reporting that an individual in a home in the 31700 block of Charlotte Avenue had a gun.
When police arrived, the suspect attempted to barricade himself in the residence, but police were quickly able to get in and arrest him.
MacDonald said police then located a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun in the home.
Minhas was subsequently charged with careless use or storage of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and resisting or obstructing a police officer.
He was initially released from custody on a promise to appear, but he failed to show up for his first appearance, and a warrant for his arrest was issued on June 6.
Minhas was arrested Wednesday at the Charlotte Avenue residence. He appeared in court later that day, and was again released on a promise to appear.
His next court appearance is now slated for July 6.
The APD initially referred to the local gang issues as the Townline Hill conflict, named for the area of west Abbotsford where most of the violence was occurring.
The battle has involved young men, primarily of South Asian descent, who are battling over drug territory.
The APD is asking that anyone with information about gang-related crime contact them at 604-859-5225, text abbypd (222973) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Anyone needing help or advice concerning gangs can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-864-4777.