Nanaimo city council voted unanimously to classify 5350 Metral Dr. as a nuisance, meaning that the property owner or the person causing the disturbance can be charged for all or part of the cost of service calls to the address. NEWS BULLETIN file photo

Nanaimo billing ‘drug and theft house’ for police calls

City takes steps under nuisance property bylaw

A home described by police as a “drug and theft house” has been declared a nuisance property by the City of Nanaimo.

City council, at its regular meeting Monday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, voted unanimously to classify 5350 Metral Dr. as a nuisance, meaning that the property owner, occupier or the person causing the disturbance can be charged for all or part of the cost of service calls to the address in the future.

Dave Laberge, city manager of community safety, told council that police records indicate 58 calls to the property since 2009, including 20 calls in 2018, 10 of which were considered nuisance calls.

His staff report noted that RCMP have advised of suspected drug trafficking and movement of stolen property at the Metral house.

“[There are] things such as constant vehicle, bicycle and foot traffic at all hours of the day and night associated with suspected drug trafficking, and flowing from that were incidents of vandalism, theft and prowling in the neighbourhood,” said Laberge.

He added that there have been people living in trailers parked on the property, barking dogs and yelling and fighting.

“Most recently, I’m told that an individual came to the yard with a bat calling out occupants of the house to come out,” Laberge said.

Nanaimo RCMP busted the house at the beginning of November, finding suspected opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine, and arrested two women on drug-related charges. The day before, two men were arrested after allegedly leaving the house in a truck bearing stolen licence plates; one was charged with drug and firearm-related offences.

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