Saanich police arrest break-in suspect linked to glass-removal crime
Police say one man is believed to be connected to eight break-ins in Saanich over the past four months.
VICTORIA -- Saanich police arrested two men Thursday, one of whom is believed to be connected to a series of break-ins since October.
Investigators say they were able to identify the suspect based on information collected by the Saanich police forensic identification section and Victoria police. The man was then located by Saanich police in the early hours of Jan. 21.
He was spotted alongside another man near the intersection of Burnside Road West and Harriet Road just after midnight. Police say they saw the primary suspect stalk towards the rear of a business while the second man remained near the front of the store.
Soon after, the primary suspect triggered an alarm at the business, and officers took him into custody. Meanwhile, the second man was allegedly seen breaking into a parked vehicle “using a blow torch to smash the glass,” before he was also arrested.
The primary suspect, 40, is facing eight counts of breaking and entering related to business break-ins in Saanich, as well as one count of mischief under $5,000.
Police say the man was also wanted on an outstanding warrant for two other break and enters that took place in Saanich and Victoria in October. The man is currently being held in police custody.
Meanwhile, the second man has been charged with mischief under $5,000 and is expected to appear in court later this year.
The eight businesses that the primary suspect is believed to have broken into include six liquor stores, a bank and a restaurant. In one of the incidents, windows were “carefully removed by the suspect.”
While Saanich police did not say if the man is linked to similar break-ins reported by Victoria police, where glass was removed to gain entrance to a building, investigators say the connection has not been ruled out.
“This individual targeted local businesses in Saanich over the course of several months,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades in a release Friday. “Collaboration continues with the Victoria Police Department with their investigation into similar glass-removal type business break and enters.”