Hopley arrest could lead to systemic changes: VPD

Police in Vancouver say the arrest of a convicted child sex offender could result in significant changes to the system that he escaped from.

Randall Hopley was arrested outside of the Vancouver Police Department building at the corner of Main Street and Cordova Street just after 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Sgt. Steve Addison says an off-duty officer arriving to work made the arrest after he recognized Hopley standing outside the building, which had yet to open for the day.

Hopley failed to return to his halfway house in Vancouver on Nov. 4, sparking a Canada-wide warrant. Up to 25 full-time investigators were assigned to the search, alongside numerous staff from other police forces across Canada.

After disappearing, police say he cut off his electronic monitoring device as the 58-year-old was worried about an upcoming court appearance and feared he would be returned to custody.

Addison says Hopley was arrested on two outstanding warrants, including breaching his long-term supervision order and failing to appear at a scheduled court date.

When asked by the media how Hopley showed up at the front door of the police station amidst a Canada-wide search, Addison replied “I believe he walked there.”

Addison told CityNews that after speaking with Hopley, investigators confirmed “his intention was to turn himself in because he was cold.”

Upon arrest, Addison says Hopley had multiple “covid-style masks in his posession that he may have been using to mask his appearance as he was trying to avoid capture.”

Addison says investigators are currently speaking with Hopley to determine what he has been up to for the past 10 days.

He adds police have no reason to believe Hopley committed any new offences while he was on the run.

To the Vancouver community, Addison says he understands the fear and uneasiness people must have been living with over the past several days.

“We also understand there are important conversations that are happening now about the system that allowed Hopley to live in the community, and whether changes need to be made to that system,” Addison said.

“This case very well may, result in significant changes to the system.”

-With files from Charlie Carey

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