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Gun, phone left in unlocked car at Coquitlam mall leads to arrests, seizure of several weapons

Two men have been arrested and guns seized after police track down man who left an unlocked car with a cellphone, keys and a gun outside the Coquitlam Centre mall, members of the Uniform Gang Enforcement Team were patrolling the area when they saw the vehicle
0507 Firearms CFSEU photo
A weapon found in an unlocked car at Coquitlam Centre April 26 led to the search and seizure of these weapons.

Two men have been arrested following the search and seizure of a cache of firearms, ammunition and documents that started with a police stakeout at a Coquitlam mall by members of a uniform gang unit.

On Monday, April 26, members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit’s Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) were on patrol in the area of the Coquitlam Centre mall when they noticed a vehicle in the parking lot, occupied by a male driver. 

The driver sped up, parked in a stall and quickly walked away from his vehicle without locking it, according to a press release by media spokesperson Sgt. Brenda Winpenny.

Police waited for the driver to return for approximately an hour after which officers approached the vehicle where they saw keys and a cell phone openly sitting in the centre console.

Further observation revealed a non-restricted semi-automatic rifle, noted Winpenny, who said the officers were able to identify the male driver and locate his residence nearby.

While officers were outside that residence, the male driver and a second male arrived; both were arrested by UGET officers.

After obtaining a warrant,  police searched the residence in the 1100 block of Pinetree Way in Coquitlam where they seized a number of weapons and ammunition, including:

• 5 non-restricted, semi-automatic firearms
• extended firearm magazines
• ammunition
• documents relating to ownership of the firearms; – handcuffs, masks, and GPS trackers

All firearms seized will be submitted to the new Provincial Forensics Firearms Lab, managed by CFSEU-BC, for processing.

The male driver is known to police and the investigation is ongoing. Both males were released from custody pending criminal charge approval.

The day the vehicle was searched by police outside Coquitlam Centre is the same day a shot was fired outside the mall and a man was stabbed.

However, Sgt. Winpenny confirmed to the Tri-City News that the incidents are not related.

Police recently stepped up patrols of the area after a 20-year-old man was shot at Town Centre Park. 

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), meanwhile, is investigating links between the death of Bailey McKinney and a spate of shootings across several Coquitlam neighbourhoods in recent months.