A 10-day search for a high-risk sex offender who fled his halfway house came to an end when Randall Hopley turned himself in because he was cold, according to police.
The search for Hopley began on Nov. 4, when police say he left his Downtown Eastside halfway house and cut off his ankle monitor. A Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest and he was taken into custody Tuesday morning at 6 a.m.
Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison told CTV News that investigators have confirmed that Hopley’s “intention was to turn himself in because he was cold.”
At a news conference Tuesday, Addison said the arrest happened outside of a police building on East Cordova Street, where an officer who was starting his shift saw Hopley. At that time, he declined to comment on whether Hopley had turned himself in.
“I’m not going to speak or speculate on what his intention was, or about any statements that Hopley has made to us since his arrest, but those are the circumstances of his arrest,” Addison said, later adding that Hopley is believed to have walked to the location.
“Ultimately, after 10 days, he likely ran out of options. And that led to his arrest. So, while 10 days is 10 days too long, we’re pleased and we’re relieved that he is back in custody and we’ll be working to keep him there,” Addison said.
The search for Hopley involved 25 full-time investigators who followed up on dozens of tips coming from numerous cities in the Lower Mainland, authorities said.
In the end, Hopley was arrested in the same neighbourhood where he was last seen.
“He likely went to ground and was avoiding detection,” Addison said.
“We believe that the intense pressure that was put on – the intense focus that was put on – Hopley ultimately forced him to ground, kept him in the area and enabled us to make the arrest that we made this morning.”
Hopley remains in jail but had not been charged with any additional crimes as of Tuesday afternoon. Addison says there was no indication at that time that Hopley had committed other offences while on the run or that anyone assisted him.
“We’re relieved, and our relief comes with the understanding of the very real fear that people in our community had knowing Hopley – a convicted sex offender who has a history of crimes and offences against children – was at large.”
When he disappeared, Hopley was facing two charges of breaching a supervision order, with a trial set to begin Nov. 6. He was charged with another offence when he failed to appear for court that day.
In January, the National Parole Board had made a recommendation to the attorney general that Hopley be charged criminally for his non-compliance after being allegedly found at a public library computer within arm’s reach of children.
A report on his behaviour noted, “Your release in the community has been marred by suspensions and breaches and you do not appear to understand or appreciate your risk level.”
A previous warning about Hopley from 2019 noted that he was convicted of snatching a sleeping three-year-old boy from a Sparwood, B.C., home back in 2011.