Guns, drugs and decades-old diary found in massive Victoria crime bust
Victoria police have arrested a woman accused of hoarding more than $100,000 in stolen property including illicit drugs, cash, guns – and a diary from 1939.
A VicPD Crime Reduction Unit began investigating 52-year-old Esquimalt resident Lorraine Anderson, believed to be an associate of the Nortenos gang, in August.
Two months into the investigation, the unit, along with an Emergency Response Team, executed a search warrant at a home in the 600-block of Admirals Road.
Craig, a neighbour who declined to give his last name, said he was at home when the bust took place.
“I was sitting in my rocking chair and I heard this big loud cube van come flying up the driveway,” said Craig, a neighbour who declined to give his last name. “I looked and then he stopped right here, and then all the SWAT men came out with their guns drawn and they go ‘Go back inside, we’re not here for you.’”
Officers found thousands of items believed to have been stolen from stores, vehicles and homes inside the property as well as in a shipping container, storage lockers and three vehicles that were seized.
Guns, heroin, meth, cocaine, marijuana and fentanyl pills worth about $53,000, as well as $17,455 in cash, were located and seized by officers.
Another neighbour, Doug Chipera, said he knows Anderson from seeing her around, but was shocked to hear she had been arrested.
“She was very quiet,” said Chipera. “Never saw any drug use or anything like that so I was quite surprised when I saw the place swarming with cops.”
Items like power tools, new clothing, watches and jewelry were also found at the property.
Investigators discovered that a hidden panel in the back of a bedroom closet led to a secret room in the home.
Victoria police called it one of the largest property seizures in its history, and said it is still sifting through thousands of items.
Police say the good news is they were able to reconnect some stolen items with their rightful owners, including a diary from 1939 that will be reunited with the daughter of the author, who lives in Aldergrove.
Anderson, who is known to police, remains in custody and faces multiple charges of unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime.