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Prolific offender arrested, charged after cache of stolen IDs found in search of Saanich home

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A prolific offender has been arrested and charged after police searched a home in Saanich and found more than 100 pieces of personal identification, including passports, bank cards and drivers licences, believed to have been stolen from vehicles throughout Greater Victoria.

Saanich police began investigating a string of thefts from vehicles in January. Evidence obtained during the investigations eventually led officers to a residence in the 1500-block of North Dairy Road.

On Wednesday, the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team assisted detectives in raiding the property, where they uncovered a cache of ID cards, passports, laptops and other personal items, Saanich police said.

Investigators suspect some of the bank cards were used to make fraudulent purchases in the Greater Victoria area.

"While officers believe that most of these items had been stolen from vehicles since the start of the year, further processing will be required in an attempt to trace each item to specific crimes," the Saanich Police Department said in a statement Friday.

"Every attempt to return the items to their rightful owners will be made."

Tyson Airaksinen, 45, has been arrested and charged with breaching a release order and one count of possession of property obtained by crime.

Airaksinen was already serving a conditional sentence for fraud, possessing stolen property and breaching an undertaking when he was arrested, according to court records.

Saanich police say further charges of possession of stolen property, fraud, and identity theft are still being investigated. 

"The suspect was well-known to police for similar offences over the years," Saanich police spokesperson Const. Markus Anastasiades said.

"This is a good reminder for everyone to try their best to remove important personal and valuable items from their vehicle when left unattended," he added.

"Most of these thefts occurred in public parks when the occupants left their valuables hidden in their vehicles before they set off for a walk or hike." 

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