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Stolen Coquitlam vehicle found in Surrey with firearm, can of fuel inside

RCMP's auto crime team also found a jerrycan full of fuel in the vehicle, which was plundered from Coquitlam in November 2022.
police car lights GettyImages-521989614
Red and blue lights on top of a police vehicle. | Getty Images

A Coquitlam vehicle stolen seven months ago was recently found by Surrey RCMP.

Today (June 2), the detachment's auto crime team confirmed a Hyundai Sonata, taken in November 2022, was recovered in the Whalley neighbourhood last month.

It's not clear where in Coquitlam it was stolen.

However, Surrey Mounties spokesperson Cpl. Vanessa Munn said a firearm and a jerrycan full of gasoline was found inside the vehicle.

"We often see stolen vehicles connected to other crimes, including shootings where a suspect vehicle is located on fire at another location," she said in a statement.

"In this case, an off-duty police officer followed their instincts and reported the suspicious vehicle, leading to the arrest, firearm seizure, and very likely the prevention of further acts of violence."

Munn said a report was called in from an off-duty officer of a suspicious parked vehicle that had mismatched plates, seen on the 13800-block of 104 Avenue just before 10 a.m. on May 24.

Members of Surrey RCMP's auto crime target (ACTT) and integrated municipal provincial auto crime (IMPACT) teams were summoned to the scene.

The Hyundai Sonata was found unoccupied, and a license check confirmed it stolen out of Coquitlam roughly seven months earlier.

Two people returned to the vehicle, including a 39-year-old man known to police that was believed to be the driver.

He was arrested while the other individual as released pending further investigation, Munn said.

The firearm and fuel-filled jerrycan was found inside after the vehicle was seized by police and a search warrant was issued.

Munn said police have matched the Sonata with its registered owner since the incident.

The investigation remains ongoing, she noted, and Mounties "will be looking into if there are any connections to other investigations."