VicPD issue warning as prolific offender breaches release order for second time this year

VicPD issue warning as prolific offender breaches release order for second time this year
Victoria Police Department
Police handout photo of William Watts.

Victoria Police are warning the public to keep an eye out for William Watts, after he broke the conditions of his release order a second time this year.

A province-wide call to keep an eye out for Watts was put out Friday afternoon by authorities. He has multiple robbery convictions and police consider him a high risk to re-offend.

Watts was previously arrested March 8 in Port Alberni, after a warrant was issued for him for breaching the conditions of an earlier release order in January.

Watts is described as an Indigenous man standing at 5’10” with a muscular build weighing around 200 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Police say anyone who sees Watts is advised not to approach him and immediately call 911.

Those with information about his whereabouts can call the VicPD Report Desk at 250-995-7654 ext. 1, while anonymous tipsters can contact Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Release orders explained

When someone is arrested, they’re given the chance to attend a bail hearing where a prosecutor will present the allegations against them and any criminal record they have.

Arguments are then made to a judge about whether the accused should be released, or held in custody until their trial.

If the person is released, their case will be adjourned to an “Initial Appearance” at a later date. However, if they are not released, they will remain in jail until their next court date.

Courtesy of the Provincial Court of B.C.

Release orders can work one of two ways, as outlined in section 515 of the Criminal Code. When someone is given a release order, there are either conditions attached to it or no conditions at all.

Restrictions can vary from many things but usually include things like staying away from certain people or places, reporting to the police regularly, or not leaving the city.

RELATED: VicPD search for ‘high risk’ wanted man William Watts ends in Port Alberni

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