VANCOUVER -- Police in Vancouver Island's Comox Valley say they have recommended 27 charges against a local man after a "lengthy investigation" into a series of break-and-enter incidents in the region.

The charges facing 31-year-old Michael Leighton include breaking and entering, possession of stolen property, possession of an identification document, mischief under $5,000, possession of break-and-enter tools, trafficking in property obtained by crime, possession of identification information and possession of a controlled substance.

Leighton remains in police custody, according to a release from Comox Valley RCMP.

The investigation began early this year after police began seeing an increased number of break-ins in the region. Police said they quickly identified a suspect, recovered some stolen property and arrested Leighton.

Then, they continued their investigation after his arrest, recovering more stolen property and recommending "many more charges."

Among the items police recovered was a mandolin stolen in December 2019 during a rash of thefts from storage lockers in condominium buildings, police said. They called the instrument "a valuable family heirloom," which has now been returned to its rightful owner.

Police said they were able to easily identify some of the property they recovered because victims had provided detailed descriptions and serial numbers when initially reporting the thefts.

"This was particularly helpful as the investigation progressed," said police in their release.