COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — Two people have been charged with breaking into multiple Lower Mainland businesses by tunneling through adjacent buildings and stealing commercial safes.
RCMP began investigating early in September after several break-and-enters in the Lower Mainland, including Coquitlam, Surrey, and Burnaby.
Officers arrested two people and, using search warrants, seized stolen commercial safes and tools used in the alleged break-ins.
Coquitlam RCMP Const. Deanna Law said the suspects broke through walls to access neighbouring businesses.
“So, when someone came in in the morning, ultimately, it’s a second business,” she added. “Their door locks on the front were fine, so it’s not always just checking to make sure that the doors, you know, haven’t been drilled out or the locks damaged. It’s obviously checking the entire circumference of your business.”
A 43-year-old man has been charged with eight counts of break-and-enter, as well as one count of possession of break-in instruments.
A 39-year-old woman has been charged with two counts of break-and-enter.
“Police recognize that criminals work across the Lower Mainland regardless of city borders and we are willing to do the same in order to keep people and property safe,” says Sgt. Keith Schendel, with Coquitlam RCMP.
“Pooling resources and close communication between agencies helped us recognize the similarities in the offenses and identify suspects.”
RCMP reminds business owners to regularly check locks for drilling or damage, doors for evidence of prying, and to ensure video surveillance is working properly.
To prevent break-ins, RCMP recommends:
- illuminate as much of your property as possible;
- keep shrubbery cut back so it doesn’t block windows and doors;
- secure any glass that is less than 100 cm from a door;
- use a fencing style that will not conceal a criminal’s activities.