Kimberley RCMP have made an arrest of a suspect they believe may be involved in some of the numerous break and enter thefts in the last few weeks. But they do not believe the suspect, a 26-year old man, is responsible for all the reported incidents.
The suspect was arrested for shoplifting on July 15 and follow up investigation linked him to a break and enter along with several thefts in Kimberley, says Cpl. Chris Newel of the Kimberley RCMP. Newel says the suspect has no fixed address but has been around Kimberley for a while. He is believed to be originally from Cranbrook.
“Over the past several weeks there have been numerous thefts in the Kimberley area,” Newel said. “Police have been focusing their efforts on making an arrest, following up on leads and implementing some covert investigative techniques.
“During the arrest, police were able to gain additional evidence to support charges on other incidents. Currently the subject is in custody and police will be taking him before a Judicial Justice of the Peace later today. Police are recommending three charges of Theft, Break and Enter and Wear a Disguise.”
One of the victims of theft has been the Kimberley Arts Council Centre 64, which lost almost $1000 in cash that was stored at Centre 64 two weeks ago, and then just this past weekend in another break in, lost a brand new computer. Police have not indicated whether the suspect they arrested was involved in these thefts.
“Following hot on the heels of the break-in at Centre 64 on Sunday night, July 5, in which a quantity of cash was stolen from a locked arts council administration office, thieves again broke into the arts centre on Saturday night, July 11, this time stealing a brand new computer from the same office previously broken into,” said Arts Council President Mike Redfern. “The method of entry into the building was the same as on the previous occasion. Given the similarity between the two break-ins, Kimberley Arts Council staff and directors suspect that the same thieves were involved.”
Redfern says the theft was discovered by administrative assistant Irma de Visser on Sunday when she entered the arts centre and discovered her office door, newly installed to replace the door damaged in the previous break-in, broken open once again. Her new Dell Optiplex 3020 computer was missing and the drawers in the desk had been ransacked. A storage room had also been broken into from which a projector had been stolen.
“Disheartened but not defeated, Kimberley Arts Council is now reinforcing all exterior doors and will install motion detector lights,”Redfern said. “In addition, cash and computers are now being removed from the premises at close of the work day and keys secured. An ironic post-it note stuck on the outside of the door used in the two break-ins by a volunteer helping in the repair work states: “No cash on premises; you’ve got it all. Thanks.”
Newel says the arrest made is an excellent example of police and the public working together.
“Kimberley General Duty members were able to quickly follow up based on information they had gathered over the last few weeks. The Cranbrook/Kimberley Crime Reduction Team assisted in the investigation and was instrumental in linking several crimes to the individual.”