Two men were arrested for property offences as Victoria Police Department increased its presence in core business areas throughout Victoria and Esquimalt in response to concerns about thieves targeting businesses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just before 7 p.m. on March 23 in the 700-block of Yates Street, witnesses spotted a man breaking a window and entering a business. While officers searched for the suspect a nearby resident spotted the man trying to get onto the roof and began speaking with him. Eventually, the resident escorted the man off the property to waiting officers.
Officers noticed the suspect had been injured while breaking the window and he was taken to hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The man was released with conditions and an appearance notice.
On March 24, just after 3 a.m. near the intersection of Cook Street and Rockland Avenue another man was arrested after an officer heard a car alarm in the area. The officer saw the man fleeing the area and evidence of a broken window which lead to the man’s detainment.
The man was searched and the officer found break and enter tools. Through further investigation, officers discovered two nearby vehicles had also been broken into.
The man was arrested for violating conditions not to have break and enter tools and the investigation is ongoing.
“We are well aware of the potential for businesses to be targeted during closures,” said Chief Del Manak in a statement. “We have already implemented enhanced patrols and discussed new crime prevention strategies.”