Saanich man in custody for string of B&Es

Police arrest 33-year-old after he pawned stolen jewelry

Saanich Police have arrested a 33-year-old local man following nine reported break and enters in various neighbourhoods, stretching from Vanalman Road to the Central Saanich border.

“They’ve occurred throughout various times of the day, and it’s either been through insecure second-floor windows or forced entry,” said A/Sgt. Jereme Leslie. “When it’s 30 degrees outside, people may leave their windows open at the top to air out the house, and they leave and a bad guy has gone through the screen window and ransacked the place.”

Leslie said the suspect, who is known to police, was identified as a person of interest in an investigation by the Saanich Police Intelligence Section and Street Crime Unit. On Aug. 18, police observed the man pawn stolen jewelry at a local pawn shop and promptly arrested him.

“The pawn store showed our officer what was pawned and it was very identifiable jewelry from a recent break and enter,” said Leslie. “We then obtained a warrant to search his home in the 4300 block of West Saanich Road, and found evidence from other break and enters. Right now, we’re examining all of that evidence.”

Leslie noted the suspect targeted smaller valuables such as electronics and jewelry, as well as cash, in the series of break and enters.

Police are currently recommending charges of two counts of break and enter and one count of possession of property obtained by crime. The suspect is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, and police will be looking at recommending further charges at that time.

While opening a window can help residents beat the summer heat, Leslie said it’s important to secure all windows and doors when you’re not home to prevent these types of crimes.

“In some set of circumstances, it’s a crime of opportunity,” said Leslie, noting that strong doors with properly installed deadbolts are recommended to prevent forced entry from criminals.

jacob.zinn@saanichnews.com