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Saanich police briefs
Sleeping on the job
A prolific property thief was picked up last week after he was found fast asleep in a car he had allegedly broken in to.
Saanich police were called to Rockwell Avenue, near Craigflower Bridge, last Friday morning (Sept. 5) by a resident who found the man sleeping in her car.
"Obviously she didn't know the person and the person wasn't authorized to sleep in her vehicle," said Sgt. Dean Jantzen.
Two officers arrived and woke the man up. He was immediately recognized as a prolific thief.
"He was likely feeling the after effects (of drug use) and just passed out in this woman's vehicle while he was out committing his business through the nighttime hours," Jantzen said.
He had in his possession items that were tracked down to other vehicle break-and-enters in the area. Two rolls of refrigerator copper tubing and some sunglasses were found in the 2001 Nissan that did not belong to the complainant.
"This is obviously another good reminder that these people are out there. This is a sophisticated person who targets relentlessly thefts from autos and people leaving items in vehicles," Jantzen said. "Make sure there's nothing (left in your vehicle) that catches someone's interest."
Brian Charles Steventon, 38, faces charges of theft and mischief to property. He was also wanted by the Regional Crime Unit for possession of stolen property related to thefts in August.
Jantzen said Steventon was arrested in Cadboro Bay in March 2009 in a relatively similar fashion; he had fallen asleep in a stolen vehicle and was woken up by police, only to be arrested. He was later convicted in that incident.
A Saanich woman who left her purse in her car as she hiked up Mount Doug last Thursday returned to not only find her car broken in to, but her home as well.
Police responded to Churchill Drive around 7:45 p.m. after the woman had returned to her car, following an hour-and-fifteen-minute hike, and found the driver's side window had been smashed. Her purse, containing her identification, money and house keys, was stolen.
After speaking with police about the vehicle break-in, she returned to her Derby Road home to find several electronics and another set of keys had been taken.
"Obviously there's a direct correlation between the identification, the address (on the ID) and the keys (in her purse)," said Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen.
"It's another example of items being left in a vehicle and someone goes off walking. A lot of times we believe these thieves are watching you lock your purse up in your trunk, stuffing it under the seat, and as soon as you've gone on your walk, they know you're gone for longer than five minutes, so they have all the time in the world to sit and watch, make sure you don't return, smash the window, grab the purse and be off."
Police are asking anyone with information on this incident to call investigators at 250-475-4321.