Nanaimo Mounties report 31 break-ins in since mid September

NANAIMO - Suspect grabs chicken from woman's refrigerator before fleeing scene.

Nanaimo Mounties are reporting that 31 break-ins have happened in Nanaimo since mid September and in one instance the culprit even grabbed some chicken from a woman’s refrigerator before fleeing the scene.

In at least three cases, residents were sleeping when their homes were burglarized.

One couple awoke to find their home on Lignite Place, near Coal Tyee Trail, had been entered through a window. A purse, laptop computers and keys were gone.

A 77-year-old woman on Honey Drive was awakened by noises Sept. 30 and confronted a man in her kitchen who yelled at her to give him money. He fled out the back door when her Lifeline system intercom activated, but not before pausing to grab some chicken out of her refrigerator.

On Sunday a 40-year-old woman heard her back door open at about 11:30 a.m. and found a man riffling through her wallet. She screamed and he fled on a bicycle.

The suspect is described as white, in his late teens or early 20s, about 5-foot-8, thin build and wearing a a dark hoodie and pants. In the Honey Drive incident the suspect covered the lower half of his face with a handkerchief and wore a dark toque, hoodie and pants. Police have not concluded it was the same man in both sightings.

A 34-year-old man has been arrested in connection with several of the reported break-ins, but police believe others are involved who have not been identified.

Police say the majority of break-ins happen during the day through unlocked doors and windows and culprits prefer to grab small easily concealable items such as jewelry, liquor, cash and small electronics.

“Criminals will look for the easiest way to break into a home and will always check for unlocked entry points,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “Also, it is essential to report suspicious activity immediately as it is one of the best deterrents to stop crime before it happens.”

Anyone with information about any of the break-ins is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477, texting 274637 with keyword Nanaimo, or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.