Man suspected of break-ins, assault arrested

A 46-year-old Nanaimo man believed to be responsible for several break-ins across the city as well as an attack on a commissionaire at the Nanaimo Boat Basin has been arrested and charged by Nanaimo RCMP.

Gary Ronald Barnier was arrested at a downtown residence early Thursday morning and has been charged with four counts of break-and-enter, one count of assault with a weapon and escape of lawful custody.

During a break-in at the Wharfinger’s office at the boat basin, police say Barnier allegedly struck a commissionaire several times with a hammer. Several hours later during a traffic stop he abandoned his vehicle and ran from an officer attempting to arrest him.

Barnier’s vehicle was seized and a hammer like the one used in the attack, along with several laptops and cash boxes, were seized.

Barnier has also been charged with breaking into the Chase River Veterinary hospital, the Brooks Landing Dental Clinic, and Fuel Supplements at Rock City Plaza.

“This investigation is far from over as Barnier is believed responsible for many more break-ins,” said Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Barnier was remanded into custody April 4 after a hearing and made an appearance in court Friday.