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Observant police officer arrests suspected serial thief

Police believe they've arrested a suspect who's been breaking in to cars in the Saanich panhandle in recent weeks.

Early Monday morning, the Saanich police patrol sergeant was surveilling the neighbourhood looking for anyone that matched a rough description of their suspect: a cyclist in dark clothing.

The officer noticed a man riding a bike while rolling a second bicycle next to him.

Once the officer made himself noticed, the cyclist tossed the second bike in a bush and "cycled swiftly from the area," Sgt. Dean Jantzen said.

Eventually the officer was able to stop the cyclist, who appeared nervous, and told the sergeant he had been working on a bike at a friend's house.

The man was searched and a pair of bolt cutters, a screwdriver and a knife were found. He was also carrying a tool designed for emergency personnel who use it to smash windows when extricating car crash victims.

The suspect told the officer he was using the items to fix his friend's bike.

Also found in his possession was a wallet stolen from a car the day before.

Matthew Patrick Savage, a 37-year-old Saanich resident, faces charges of possession of stolen property and possession of break-in instruments.

Police recovered the bike thrown into the bush, but have not yet found it's owner.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

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