Savvy residents of a Saanich apartment building helped police nab two robbery suspects Thursday by monitoring their parking garage online.
It all started a few weeks ago, after a number of vehicle break-ins at the building’s secure underground parking garage in the 3200 block of Rutledge Street, near Tolmie Avenue and Quadra Street.
“There had been thefts from several vehicles and possibly a garage-door opener [was taken],” said Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie.
The residents decided to take action and installed a security camera system that provided a live video feed from the garage.
The video was accessible online and residents took shifts monitoring it.
When watching the feed from his computer Wednesday night while out of town, one resident noticed two suspicious people enter the garage and look at vehicles.
The resident immediately alerted neighbours in the building. They went down to the garage, called police and stood by the exits.
Saanich police arrived within minutes and found one of the suspects hiding in the garage.
They arrested a 21-year-old Saanich man on suspicion of breaking and entering.
The man had break-in tools and a canister of bear spray with him, police said. He was also in breach of court-ordered conditions.
Soon after the first arrest, one of the residents noticed movement in another area of the parking garage.
Police found a 17-year-old girl they believed to be with the man who had been arrested.
The girl, who is from Colwood and was subject to court-ordered conditions, was also arrested.
Eassie praised the efforts of the building’s residents.
“This is another excellent example of people providing timely information to police, which has led to the arrest of two suspects,” he said in a statement.
“Without the assistance of the public in this case, it is possible that the suspects may have eluded capture and committed further crime throughout the early morning hours.”
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