Port Alberni RCMP have apprehended a man suspected in two burglaries in an hour on Thursday night (Nov. 7).
The first call came in just before 8 p.m. from the 2500-block of 15th Avenue. The suspect forced entry into a residence then ransacked it in minutes, according to Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Amelia Hayden. Stolen was a substantial amount of personal items along with electronics, jewelry, collector’s items as well as house and vehicle keys. The homeowners had been away less than one hour when the break-in occurred, and were alerted to it by their alarm company.
While the police were on the scene of the first break-in they received a call of a second break-and-enter in progress from an address only three blocks away, in the 2500-block of 12th Avenue. “The home owner had returned home to find his house completely ransacked, items piled up by the door and the suspect fleeing as it appears he was interrupted by the homeowner’s return,” Hayden said.
Police set up perimeters and Cst. Bartlett and Police Dog Jammer attempted to track the suspect. At approximately 11:25 p.m., Bartlett and Jammer observed a man matching the description of the suspect from the break and enter who was carrying a couple of backpacks. The suspect was seen wearing some of the jewelry that had been reported as stolen from the break in on 15th Avenue.
The man was arrested and taken into custody and incidental to his arrest, the police were able to recover all of the items stolen from the break in on 15th Avenue. The suspect is being held in custody and is scheduled to appear in court later today.
“Property owners are reminded to secure their homes and property as best possible,” said Hayden.
”Ensure doors and windows are locked, don’t leave any items accessible outside the home that criminals can either steal or use to gain entry into your home, such as ladders and chairs near windows. Use good outdoor lighting so everyone can see your property and prune trees and shrubs to reduce hiding spots in your yard.
“Also joining the Block Watch program will reduce your risks even further,” Hayden added.
Anyone who witnessed these crimes, or who has surveillance or dash cam video in the area is asked to contact Cst. Kenny of the Port Alberni RCMP at 250-723-2424.