Vancouver police say the 10-day manhunt for high-risk sex offender Randall Hopley ended outside a police station when he was recognized and arrested by an off-duty officer.
Sgt. Steve Addison says the “intense focus” on Hopley’s whereabouts led to his arrest this morning and police will make recommendations through Crown counsel that he be denied bail and remain in custody.
Addison says Hopley was captured outside the police station in the Downtown Eastside, not far from where he went missing.
Hopley walked away from his Vancouver halfway house on Nov. 4., and cut off his electronic monitoring device a short time later.
At the time, police said they believed the 58-year-old was worried about an upcoming court appearance and feared he would be returned to custody.
Hopley had completed a six-year prison term for the 2011 abduction of a three-year-old boy in southeastern B.C.
He was released in 2018 and was living at the halfway house under a 10-year long-term supervision order but was arrested in January for allegedly violating conditions of the order.
Addison told a news conference that there was “very real fear” in the community while Hopley was at large, and concern about the case had the potential to change the way such offenders are monitored.
He couldn’t say whether Hopley was intending to turn himself in at the time of his arrest by the officer, who was in plain clothes.
“I’m not gonna speculate on what Randall Hopley’s intentions were,” Addison said, adding that “he likely ran out of options.”
Addison said up to 25 full-time investigators worked the case while Hopley was at large, supported by dozens of other officers.
He said there were more than 80 tips from the public, involving a time-consuming checking process.
It was believed that Hopley had been travelling alone, Addison said, and may have been trying to change his appearance with “COVID-style masks” that he had on him when he was arrested.
Addison said police did not believe Hopley committed any new offences while at large.