A former Victoria resident and career criminal has confessed to breaking into 34 homes in Nanaimo during the past year.
A 45-year-old man with a crack addiction whom police will only refer to by his first name, Michael, has walked investigators through 34 break-ins he said he committed from September 2011 to May 2012.
Over 25 years, the middle-aged man has been convicted of 27 criminal offences and has spent more than a decade in jail, said Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary OBrien.
His crimes range from theft, breaking and entering, possession of drugs and stolen property and assault.
Michael is well known to RCMP detachments on Vancouver Island and in the Victoria area, OBrien said, in a news release. Michael has struggled with his addiction most of his adult life .When the drug gets the better of him, he reverts back to a life of crime and usually ends up in jail.
The man is in jail and undergoing counseling for his addiction to crack cocaine.
Investigators will attempt to reach all the victims to let them know the thief is in jail, however, recovering all the items once theyve been sold once, maybe several times, is unlikely, said OBrien, in an interview.
The man told police he would walk, take the bus or ride his bike to residences, take small items such as electronics, liquor and passports and sell them within an hour for cash or drugs.
The break-ins were always during the day and were usually planned. He would survey homes to observe the comings and goings of its occupants and he would check out businesses for alarms, entry and hiding spaces.
The RCMP hope the story will serve as a reminder of how they can protect their homes and belongings maintaining property so a potential thief knows the homeowner is diligent, using environmental designs such as fences, rocks and shrubs to define and enclose property, securing doors and windows and other potential entry points and locking up or storing valuables.
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