Kootenay gun thieves appear in court

Charges are pending for all three suspects alleged to have committed Canadian Tire store robbery in Trail.

Kootenay gun thieves appear in Nelson court.

Kootenay gun thieves appear in Nelson court.

Charges are pending for all three suspects alleged to have robbed Canadian Tire in Trail.

James Duncan Beestra, 31, Dustin Paul Zier, 33, and Dori Swanson, 41, were arrested in Nelson one day after the break-in and theft of 15 guns and ammo from the store in the early morning of July 20.

Each alleged perpetrator is charged with several weapons-related offences and possession of stolen property.

Beestra and Zier remained in custody following an initial court appearance in Nelson on Tuesday. The pair are slated for a second Nelson Provincial Court date today (Friday).

Swanson was released on bail last week and is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 9.

Of the stolen guns, only three have been recovered. The trio is alleged to have stolen a pick-up truck from the Waneta area to use in the crime, the vehicle has since been found.

Trail police responded to an alarm from the store at approximately 4 a.m Wednesday. The suspects gained entrance by smashing the front entrance glass, but were gone from the scene by the time officers arrived.

The store’s surveillance video revealed two adult males heading straight to the firearms section. Also caught on video was the stolen truck.

“Just by watching the video, it definitely appeared the suspects knew where they were going in the store and knew exactly what they wanted,” said Greater Trail RCMP Cpl. Darryl Orr. “So, it was well planned.”

Anyone with information on the break and enter is encouraged to call Crimestoppers at 1.800.222.8477 or Greater Trail RCMP at 250.365.2566.