Brandon Bartlett, a 38-year-old man living in Victoria, has been charged with killing an animal after he broke into a home in the Oaklands neighbourhood, stole a dog from inside, and killed it.
Police were called to a multi-unit residential building in the 1300-block of Hillside Avenue at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 20th, to investigate witness reports of an incident between Bartlett and the dog.
When they arrived, they found the deceased dog and discovered that Bartlett had holed himself up in a suite inside the building.
After he refused to leave the suite, VicPD deployed the Emergency Response Team and Crisis Negotiators. When Bartlett finally exited the suite at around 7:00 p.m., he refused to cooperate with police, who arrested Bartlett with the help of non-lethal projectiles.
Through their investigation, police discovered that the deceased dog had been stolen from somebody else’s home. The dog’s owners were not home at the time of the break and enter, but returned home to find their dog missing along with evidence of the break-in.
Sources told Victoria Buzz that the dog was a small, five-pound chihuahua.
Police call for calm
The incident was widely discussed on social media, and many people shared Bartlett’s name and information before police had made his involvement publicly known. As a result, Victoria Police are pleading with the community to refrain from threatening Bartlett online.
“Numerous posts have appeared on various social media platforms sharing information identifying the man, as well as making threatening comments that have officers concerned for the man’s safety,” said Victoria PD in a statement.
“While the circumstances of this file are disturbing and it is understandable that people are upset, investigators are appealing to the public for calm. Threats against anyone must be investigated,” they continued.
“Additionally, comments of this nature can have a negative impact on investigations, as well as court outcomes.”
Brandon Bartlett has formally been charged under Criminal Code section 445(1)(a) — killing or injuring an animal. He has received multiple previous charges in B.C. for speeding, running a red light, and supplying liquor to minors.
Investigators continue to work with Crown Counsel and are also liaising with the SPCA and Victoria Animal Control, police say.