VICTORIA – Two traffic stops conducted in Saanich last week led to the seizure of a stolen car and the discovery of weapons and drugs, including fentanyl.

The first traffic stop, which involved the stolen vehicle, took place at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 18 in the 3400-block of Saanich Road. While out on patrol, a police vehicle that was equipped with an automatic licence plate reader (ALPR) detected that a passing vehicle was reported stolen.

Officers then stopped the car and arrested the male driver and female passenger at the scene. Inside the vehicle, police discovered a range of weapons and drugs, including bear spray, a Taser, cocaine and fentanyl.

The driver of the stolen vehicle has since been charged under the Motor Vehicle Act with further charges for drugs and weapons under investigation. Police say that the vehicle has been returned to its registered owner.

Less than 24 hours after the incident, just before 1:30 p.m. on Nov 19, one of the same officers who was involved in the previous traffic stop conducted a similar one on the 4000-block of Quadra Street. 

The officer's ALPR system detected that a prohibited driver was behind the wheel of a passing vehicle. Police then stopped the car and arrested the man for driving while prohibited. During the arrest, officers discovered drugs and weapons inside the vehicle, including fentanyl, crystal methamphetamine, bear spray and brass knuckles. 

The driver has since been charged for driving while prohibited and their vehicle is currently impounded. Police say charges related to the drugs and weapons discovered is under investigation. 

"The ALPR technology continues to be an effective investigative tool that our officers are using to improve road safety, reduce crime and increase patrol efficiency,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades of the Saanich Police department in a news release Thursday.

Police do not believe that there is any connection between the two incidents.