Vancouver police respond to break-and-enters, stabbing, and mask dispute in Gastown on weekend

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      Vancouver police were kept busy responding to several incidents that took place in Gastown this past weekend, including break-and-enters at a store and nightclub, a stabbing, and a mask dispute involving racism.

      In one case, suspect allegedly entered a store near West Cordova and Richards Street and stole over $10,000 in clothing, jewelry, and accessories around 4:30 a.m. on October 1. Police managed to recover about $2,800 of the stolen merchandise from a man who was attempting to sell it in the Downtown Eastside. Investigators are continuing to gather evidence and no charges have been laid yet.

      In a separate case, police received calls about break-ins on three consecutive nights on the weekend to a nightclub located near Abbott Street and West Cordova. A suspect had smashed windows and stole liquor bottles from the venue in early morning hours, which caused thousands of dollars in damages and losses.

      Then on the morning of October 3, an individual called 911 after witnessing a suspect break a window at the location, which enabled officers to arrive at the club, observe him, and arrest him before he could flee, according to VPD spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison. The suspect, 37-year-old Kevin Willard, is charged with one count of breaking-and-entering on October 3 while police continue to investigate connections with the other two break-and-enters.

      On the evening of October 3, officers responded to call about a 42-year-old man who had been stabbed in the neck, shoulder, and abdomen by a stranger at a social-housing building on Water Street. Upon arrival, police found the victim bleeding profusely. After reviewing security video, police identified a suspect, who was known to them. Officers later arrested a 33-year-old man (his identity has not been released) on West Hastings Street, who is scheduled to appear in court today (October 4). The victim is expected to survive.

      Also on October 3, a shopper without a mask entered a business near Abbott Street and West Cordova. When an employee confronted the shopper, the suspect used racial slurs (the employee is Asian) and began behaving aggressively towards her. When the employee tried to call 911, the man grabbed the phone out of her hands and threw it on the ground. The suspect fled before police could arrive and officers are continuing to search for him.   

      The VPD stated that officers have responded to 82 violent crimes and 259 property crimes in Gastown since April. However, the VPD added that the actual number of incidents may be higher as many crimes remain unreported.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.