Alberni man not connected to seniors’ home invasions

The arrest of an Alberni man for a recent theft and break and enter isn’t connected to a rash of home invasions involving seniors, RCMP say.

The arrest of an Alberni man for a recent theft and break and enter isn’t connected to a rash of home invasions involving seniors, RCMP Cpl. Jen Allan said.

Alberni resident Channon Paul Coulter, 41, is charged with one count of break and enter, possession of break and enter tools, several counts of possession of stolen property and fleeing police.

The charges stem from recent incidents including the theft of a purse from Walmart and a daylight break and enter, Allan said.

On the afternoon of April 11, a 73-year old woman was working in the front yard of her house on Leslie Avenue. When she went back in her house she noticed her purse on the stairs. She went inside and discovered that some of her belongings had been stolen. She called police, who got a description of the suspect from the woman’s neighbours.

Police spotted Coulter, who matched the description, at Leslie Avenue and Johnston Road an hour later and arrested him in Roger Creek Park after a short chase. Coulter was found in possession of a cache of stolen property “…that linked him to this incident and numerous other thefts in the community,” the release noted.

The nature of the incident, age of the victim, and that the crime was committed during the daytime was similar to home invasion incidents involving other Alberni seniors, one of which resulted in the death of Mervin Hankins, 75.

“Investigators are still trying to determine if he’s connected to those incidents,” Allan said. “He remains a person of interest.”

No one was arrested in those incidents.

Coulter is remanded into custody until his next court appearance on April 26.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com