A man police suspect may have been responsible for up to 31 break-ins in the Capital Region was arrested by Saanich police Tuesday after a lengthy surveillance investigation.
The 41-year-old Saanich man was arrested around 2:30 p.m. after officers with the detachment's street crimes unit witnessed him breaking into a home on Oliver Street in Oak Bay. He had stolen property on him at the time of his arrest.
Police have since linked him to six break-ins in Saanich, Oak Bay, Colwood and Central Saanich but believe he was involved in as many as 25 more dating back to the spring.
"We believe this is the individual responsible for a majority of the second-floor attacks in high-end homes," said Sgt. Dean Jantzen, referring to multiple summer robberies in Saanich and Oak Bay where ladders were used to gain entry to open upper floor windows.
A search warrant was executed Tuesday on a home in the Elk Lake area, where police uncovered a lot of stolen property. Jantzen said officers are still trying to sort through the property.
"Solving these break-ins was obviously a priority for us, just given how prolific some of these offences were," Jantzen said. The investigation was assisted by the Regional Crime Unit and the RCMP.
Christopher Lee Schwartz currently faces six counts of break and enter.