Alleged thieves used tunnels to break into businesses, Coquitlam RCMP say
Published Monday, October 19, 2020 5:37PM PDT
Coquitlam RCMP say this hole was used to access an adjacent commercial business. (Handout)
VANCOUVER -- A man and woman have been arrested after a series of robberies across the Lower Mainland that involved the suspects using “tunnels” to access businesses, Coquitlam RCMP say.
In a release, Mounties say they began investigating on Sept. 3, after several break and enters were reported in different jurisdictions. The offences involved criminals “tunnelling through adjacent businesses to get inside.”
The investigation involved the Coquitlam RCMP Prolific Target Team, Surrey RCMP Property Crime Target Team and the Burnaby RCMP Strike Force.
“Police recognize that criminals work across the Lower Mainland regardless of city borders and we are willing to do the same in order to keep people and property safe,” Sgt. Keith Schendel with Coquitlam RCMP said in the release. “Pooling resources and close communication between agencies helped us recognize the similarities in the offences and identify suspects.”
After the first arrest, investigators used search warrants to gather more evidence such as “stolen commercial safes and tools used to commit multiple offences.”
A 43-year-old man is facing charges including eight counts of Break and Enter, one count of Possession of Break-in Instruments. A 39-year-old woman is facing two counts of Break and Enter.
Mounties say business owners should regularly check locks for drilling or damage, doors for evidence of prying and ensure video surveillance is working properly.