A Saanich man has been arrested after a police investigation into a string of more than 20 thefts from vehicles that took place over two months.
The Saanich Police Street Crime Unit began looking into the thefts in January after reports of thefts in Saanich and other parts of Greater Victoria.
A search warrant was conducted about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at a residence in the 1500-block of North Dairy Road. The Greater Victoria Emergency Team assisted because it was believed there could be hazards at the scene.
Officers located more than 100 personal items, including bank cards, driver’s licences, passports and work-identification tags, as well as laptops and other goods.
Some of the bank cards were used to make fraudulent purchases, police said.
“This a good reminder for everyone to try their best to remove important personal and valuable items from their vehicle when left unattended,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades.
“Most of these thefts occurred in public parks when the occupants left their valuables hidden in their vehicles before they set off for a walk or hike.”
Many of thefts were in the Mount Douglas area, he said, and all of the vehicles targeted were locked.
“In the majority of cases, a window was smashed to gain entry into the vehicle,” Anastasiades said.
Police believe most of the thefts took place in 2023, but further processing will be required to trace each item to specific crimes.
Efforts will be made to return the items to their rightful owners.
A 45-year-old Saanich man has been charged with one count of possession of property obtained by crime and breach of a release. Further allegations of possession of stolen property, fraud and identity theft remain under investigation.