A 49-year-old Langley man who jumped the border into Canada on a stolen motorcycle and fled into Willowbrook mall has pleaded guilty on what was supposed to be the first day of his trial, Monday, March 5.
Four days were set aside for Brent Vernon Charpentier’s trial after he was charged with possession of stolen property, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and driving while his licence is suspended.
Charpentier entered guilty pleas for the charges and will be sentenced March 28.
The mayhem started around 1 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2016 at the Aldergrove border crossing. One man was arrested by U.S. border patrol officers as he was trying to cross into Canada on a motorcycle, said Langley RCMP. That man was found to be in possession of firearms when he was arrested.
At the same time, a citizen in the Abbotsford/Aldergrove area saw a different motorcycle cross the border, traveling in a ditch near the US-Canada boundary.
RCMP Air One began tracking the bike from the air, following it all the way to Willowbrook Shopping Centre.
“The suspect ditched his motorcycle at Willowbrook mall and ran into the Toys R Us,” said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy at the time. At first, it was believed the man had a backpack with a gun inside.
Police descended on the mall.
“Officers viewed the video surveillance tapes and are able to identify the suspect. At that point we felt he had fled the mall,” she said. He changed his clothing while inside the mall.
Police trailed Charpentier to a nearby residence, where he got into a white van and drove away.
“He pulled over, got out of the vehicle and was arrested without incident,” said Largy. The van was surrounded by a heavy police presence in front of several people in the parking lot of the Dairy Queen at Fraser Highway and 203 Street.
No weapons were found when he was arrested, she said. Police said the motorcycle, which was left at the mall, had been stolen in Abbotsford and the plates on the bike were stolen in Surrey.
Why Charpentier fled the border isn’t known.
Langley police didn’t think the two incidents at the border are connected.
Charpentier was arrested one month later, along with Owen Charpentier, 21.
The pair will be sentenced March 28 for break and enter with intent to commit and offence and possession of break-in instruments.
On June 21, 2017, Brent Charpentier went back to jail after breaching his bail conditions in Cache Creek.