Prosecutors have slapped another 12 theft-related charges against a Peachland businessman who
police say has ties to biker gangs.
John Edward Newcome, 44, is accused of running an illegal network that dealt with stolen vehicles, boats and trailers at his West Kelowna business. He's been in custody since Aug. 2, the day police raided Cycle Logic, an automotive repair shop on Juliann Road.
Police recovered more than $750,000 worth of vehicles and other valuables from the shop and Newcome's house in Peachland on Aug. 2.
Investigators allege the business modified vehicle-identification numbers on stolen vehicles, trailers and machinery, and then sold them. In some cases, crooks would steal specific vehicle models that customers requested, RCMP said.
Newcome was initially charged with three counts of trafficking stolen property and two counts of possessing stolen property in May and July. They involve two pickup trucks, including one stolen from Universal Ford Lincoln in Calgary, two boats, including one taken from Banner Recreational Products in Kelowna, and two trailers.
He is now charged with possessing:
â€¢ a stolen Polaris Razor ATV;
â€¢ a stolen Honda ATV;
â€¢ a stolen Yamaha R6;
â€¢ a John Deere Skidsteer and trailer stolen from Brandt Tractor Ltd., which has offices outside the Okanagan;
â€¢ a stolen Featherlite enclosed box trailer;
â€¢ a stolen Citation Fifth Wheel;
â€¢ a stolen Speedex key-cutting machine;
â€¢ a stolen ITL key programmer;
â€¢ a stolen PJ flat-deck trailer;
â€¢ a Haulmark enclosed trailer stolen from Freedom Ford Sales Ltd. in Edmonton;
â€¢ a stolen Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Since his arrest, police have tracked down owners and compiled evidence to support a dozen new charges that reflect how extensive the network was. The vehicles, ATVs, motorbikes and other machinery were all seized from Cycle Logic and Newcome's house on Aug. 2.
Newcome is also charged with trafficking a Pontoon boat and trailer in August. He appeared in court by video on the new charges.
RCMP officers watched the business for weeks before the raid. They spotted gangsters from criminal organizations coming and going, such as the Hells Angels in Nanaimo and Calgary, and the Throttle Lockers and Kingpin Crew from Kelowna, said Insp. Rick Flewelling.
Two members from the Kingpin Crew and the Nanaimo chapter were employees at Cycle Logic, he said. No one was answering the phone there at 3 p.m. Monday.
Police also found a grow-op in Newcome's house in Peachland, RCMP said, but no charge has been laid.