Victoria police say they have made two break-and-enter related arrests as they continue to do more patrols in business areas.
VicPD recently increased its patrols in business areas in Victoria and Esquimalt, including the downtown core, following concerns that thieves would target businesses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 24, just before 7 p.m., police were called to the 700-block of Yates Street after witnesses reported seeing a man breaking a window and entering a recently-vacated business.
Police said officers surrounded the building and a resident of a nearby building saw a man trying to access the roof. The resident talked with the man and escorted him off the property to the officers. The man was taken into custody.
Police said the man was taken to hospital as he had been injured while breaking the window. The man was released with conditions and a court appearance notice.
Another man was arrested near the intersection of Cook Street and Rockland Avenue after 3 a.m. Tuesday morning when an officer heard a car alarm going off.
According to police, the officer noticed a man quickly leaving the area of the car alarm. The officer stopped and searched the man based on “evidence that he’d recently broken a vehicle window.” Police said the officer found break and enter tools on the man and further investigation found two vehicles that had been broken into.
The man was arrested for violating conditions not to possess break and enter tools. Police said the owners of the vehicles that were broken into were notified and the investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“We are well aware of the potential for businesses to be targeted during closures,” Chief Del Manak said in a statement.
“We have already implemented enhanced patrols and discussed new crime prevention strategies.”