Thirty-one break-and-enters in the past two weeks have Nanaimo RCMP warning people to lock their doors and report any suspicious activity.
A 34-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a number of the break-and-enters, but police believe others are also involved.
At least three of the crimes happened when residents were at home, the latest on Oct. 2 when a 40-year-old woman living on First Street was awoken by the sound of her back door being opened. When she went to check on the noise, she came face-to-face with a man who was going through her wallet.
When she screamed, the intruder ran out the door and fled on a bicycle.
On Sept. 30, a 77-year-old Honey Drive resident was also roused from sleep by noise. She walked into the kitchen and encountered a strange male, who yelled at her to give him money.
He left when the woman’s medical-alert system went off, but not before grabbing some chicken from the refrigerator.
The other case of people being at home came when residents of a Lignite Place home realized in the morning that someone had been inside overnight, likely after getting in through a window. A purse, laptops and keys were missing.
Police said the descriptions provided by the women who saw an intruder do not definitively prove it was the same person. The First Street victim described the intruder as a white male in his late teens or early 20s, five-foot-eight with a thin build, and wearing a dark hoodie and dark pants, while the Honey Drive intruder was described as having the lower part of his face covered with a dark handkerchief and wearing a dark tuque, dark hoodie and dark pants.
Most break-and-enters happen during the day, often through unlocked doors and windows, police said, with criminals tending to take small, easily concealed items like cash, liquor, electronics and jewelry.
Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), go to nanaimocrimestoppers.com or text 274637 using the keyword “Nanaimo.”
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