Canuck the crow steals crime scene weapon from jaws of the police

Did Canuck the crow swoop off with a knife from a Vancouver crime scene?
Crow in question appears to be the notorious Canuck
By Tamara Baluja, CBC News Posted: May 25, 2016 5:46 PM PT Last Updated: May 27, 2016 5:56 AM PT

Murder most foul! Vancouver crow attacks mapped in new project
Canuck the crow, Vancouver’s most notorious bird, is being accused of flying away with a knife from a crime scene.

The crow has quite a reputation in Vancouver and its antics are regularly chronicled on social media, including a dedicated Facebook page that has a profile photo of the bird holding a knife in its beak.

Earlier on Tuesday, police had shot a man near Hastings and Cassiar streets. They were called to the scene of a car engulfed in flames. When they arrived, police said, they were confronted by a man with a knife.

Shots were fired and the man was arrested.

Police shooting, car fire, shut down Hastings and Cassiar

Vancouver Courier reporter Mike Howell said he saw the bird — which had a red tag on its leg as does Canuck — swoop in and pick up an object from inside an area cordoned off by police tape.

“A cop chased it for about 15 to 20 feet, and then the crow dropped it and took off,” Howell told CBC.

“It was really strange. In my 20-plus years reporting from crime scenes, I’ve never seen anything like that crow trying to take a knife.”

Vancouver police confirmed a bird did indeed take off with crime scene evidence.

“The crow was persistent, but the knife was eventually gathered as evidence,” Const. Brian Montague said in an email.

The bird was also spotted sitting on the roof of the burned car and trying to get into a camera operator’s gear.

Infamous bird

Among its other exploits, Canuck attacked a cyclist in East Vancouver last year and posed for a mock interview with CBC journalist Dan Burritt.

It was also spotted riding the SkyTrain.

This particular crow was raised by humans and is a common fixture around its East Vancouver neighbourhood.

Anatomy of a crime

Crows are known to be curious and intelligent creatures, so why would it pick up a knife?

Wayne Goodey, a zoology lecturer at UBC, said city crows are sometimes attracted to shiny things.

“They might associate a shiny foil with edibles or food wrapping from a restaurant,” he said. “And they have no way of knowing it’s not food until they put it in their beaks.”

He also said the knife’s green handle might have appeared like food to the crow and piqued its interest.

“It was a crime of opportunity.”

Vancouver cop goes undercover as vulnerable victim in attempted robbery sting, but only manages to get his picture taken

Undercover police operation in Downtown Eastside uncovers kindness


An undercover investigation in the Downtown Eastside targeting violent offenders who target people living with disabilities didn’t yield an arrest, but showed a supportive community, Vancouver police say.
An undercover police operation meant to catch criminals who prey on those most vulnerable instead turned up an outpouring of kindness in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

During May and June, Vancouver police conducted a probe to find out who was responsible for 28 offences — including six robberies, 21 assaults and one sexual assault — against wheelchair-dependent people in the city since January 2014.

Undercover operator Staff-Sgt. Mark Horsley, who spent 16 hours over five days posing as a quadriplegic who’d suffered brain damage and a broken neck in a motorcycle accident, said the goal was to create an opportunity for an assault or robbery, but no one took the bait.

“Every single deployment, multiple people — and these are people that we know the profiles of, we know their criminal histories, we know where they’re at — they still wouldn’t stoop so low as to rob somebody who was that vulnerable,” Horsley said. “They did nothing but express care and concern and compassion.”

During his 300 interactions with the public, Horsley was asked if he had someone to care for him and a place to go, and if he was hungry.

Though he didn’t ask for it, many people gave him food and money.

To tempt potential thieves, Horsley carried an iPad, a camera and a fanny pack with money sticking out of it, which several people warned him to secure and one man even zipped up for him.

Insp. Howard Chow said that while the project didn’t lead to any arrests, it highlighted “the caring and the compassion and the overwhelmingly strong sense of community that exists in the Downtown Eastside.”

Chow said even when Horsley asked for help while bartering with area residents, no one shortchanged the undercover officer.

“In fact, at the end of it we were $24 ahead of when we started,” Chow said.

Walt Lawrence, a peer support worker who has used a wheelchair since a diving injury decades ago, helped Horsley prepare for the operation. Lawrence said the treatment Horsley received represents his own experience as someone with a disability.

“It’s amazing just how kind and how helpful people can be,” he said.

Chow said catching the person or people responsible for the 28 offences remains a priority for police.

Vancouver Riot Kissing Couple Still Together

Vancouver riot kissing couple still together 4 years later
Rich Lam’s iconic photo of Canadian Alex Thomas and Australian boyfriend Scott Jones went viral
CBC News Posted: Jun 25, 2015 9:56 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 26, 2015 9:16 AM ET


Vancouver riot’s ‘kissing couple’ tell their story
The couple seen in a viral photograph kissing on the ground during the Vancouver riot are still together — four years later.

As Vancouver marks the anniversary of the infamous 2011 Stanley Cup riot this month, the couple are still an item and are now living in Australia.

Canadian Alex Thomas and her Australian boyfriend Scott Jones now live in Melbourne. (CBC)

Canadian Alex Thomas and her Australian boyfriend Scott Jones now share a place in Melbourne, where Jones is a bar manager and Thomas works in sewage planning and wastewater treatment, according to The WorldPost, Huffington Post’s world news site. Thomas has also applied for Australian citizenship.

The couple were trying to get out of the downtown area, following the Vancouver Canucks’ Game 7 Stanley Cup loss to the Boston Bruins, when they were caught in the massive riot.

Thomas fell during the mayhem and Jones embraced her on the ground to comfort her, they told CBC News in an interview two days after the riot.

“She was a bit hysterical afterwards, obviously, and I was trying to calm her down,” Jones said.

The intimate moment was captured by photographer Rich Lam in an image that instantly went viral. The shot, which went on to win the 2011 National Newspaper Award for news photography, also inspired hundreds of memes and speculations about the couple.

“It’s just a moment that happened to be on camera. It’s not embarrassing at all,” Thomas told CBC News in the interview. “It’s actually a really beautiful shot. It’s amazing that moment got captured.”

The Olympics

The Sochi Olympics are coming soon, just a matter of a few weeks now. The dedication and training athletes put in is amazing just to qualify for the Games, much less actually win them. It is truly something to admire, the accomplishments these athletes achieve just to reach the competition level.

Having said that, and putting aside the scandals regarding pharmaceutical help and medical cheating, are the modern games worth it anymore? The resources needed to stage the games and provide security in this day and age for a 2- or 3-week event is prodigous. Would the finances and work be better spent on other social needs in the host countries?

I was lucky enough to be living in Vancouver during the last Winter Olympics and the spirit and atmosphere was amazing. I’m not sure, however, if I wouldn’t rather see something more mundane but more worthwhile (food banks? soup kitchens? treatment programs for the East End denizens?) receive the resources. What do you think?