NEWS

Cory Damian Wagner And Ryan Kevin Verhoeks, B.C. Soldiers Arrested After Break-And-Enter

04/06/2012 04:50 EDT | Updated 06/06/2012 05:12 EDT
NANAIMO, B.C. - The RCMP has arrested two members of the Canadian Forces who are accused of robbing a restaurant in Nanaimo, B.C.

An RCMP news release said Pte. Cory Damian Wagner and Pte. Ryan Kevin Verhoeks, both 20, face several charges including break and enter and theft over $5,000.

The men were arrested at their homes on Wednesday and are due to appear in Nanaimo provincial court on Tuesday to face the allegations.

Major Dan Thomas, a public relations officer for the Canadian Forces' 39 Canadian Brigade Group, said Wagner was a member of the Canadian Scottish Regiment, a reserve infantry unit that maintains a rifle company, B Company, in Nanaimo, but had been recently transferred to the regular forces and was awaiting training.

Verhoeks, however, is a current member of the regiment's B Company.

"Naturally, we take this very seriously," said Thomas. "We expect high standards of conduct by our members, and any allegations of criminal misconduct are very serious to us indeed."

He said a number of administrative measures are available to the Canadian Forces in situations where members are convicted in civilian courts.

"We are paying close attention to this process as its outcome will influence our actions," said Thomas.

He said he didn't know how much time each of the men have served with the military, but noted both are very junior. He also didn't know if either had served overseas.

The RCMP said the incident the men are accused of took place Dec. 24, 2011 and a large quantity of money was taken.

--by Keven Drews in Vancouver