Suspect caught in break and enter

NANAIMO – A 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of stealing thousands of dollars of items and two vehicles from a Nanaimo home.

Man and man’s best friend are being credited in the arrest of a suspected thief, who is accused of stealing two vehicles and numerous household items from a Nanaimo home.

On Aug. 8, residents of a home on Melodi Wood Way returned from a vacation to discover that their home had been ransacked and their vehicles stolen. The couple then reported the incident to Nanaimo RCMP, who were able to make an arrest the following day, thanks to an alert off-duty officer.

RCMP have charged Shawn Weldon, 39, with break and enter and vehicle theft after an off-duty officer discovered him driving one of the two stolen vehicles. Police, with the help of police dog Boomer and his handler Const. Clay Wurzinger, arrested Weldon after a short chase. Weldon was taken to hospital where he received three stitches for dog bites.

Following the arrest, RCMP searched a home on Malaspina Drive, where they recovered nearly $15,000 of home electronics, sporting goods, computer equipment, clothing and appliances, which are believed to have been from the home on Melodi Wood Way. An adult female was arrested at the home and later released.

“The home owners are extremely grateful to have their items and vehicles returned to them,” Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said in a press release. “In hindsight, the homeowners realize they should have hid their vehicle keys or given them to a friend or trusting neighbour. Their vehicle keys were left in a conspicuous location and were easily detected and used to steal their vehicles.”

Police credit the home owners for immediately reporting the incident and not entering their home, which preserved key forensic evidence.