Plateau residents warned after rash of thefts from vehicles

Coquitlam RCMP reported a rash of thefts from vehicles in Westwood Plateau Tuesday night, and the recent arrest of a Vancouver man who
Coquitlam RCMP reported a rash of thefts from vehicles in Westwood Plateau Tuesday night, and the recent arrest of a Vancouver man who's now facing 16 criminal charges.
— image credit: FILE GRAPHIC

A rash of thefts from vehicles overnight in the Westwood Plateau area has prompted Coquitlam RCMP to remind people to remove valuables from their cars.

On Tuesday night, 30 vehicles were broken into, most of them with their windows smashed.

"Fourteen out of the 30 had nothing stolen, so the bad guy just smashed the window and looked around," said Cpl. Jamie Chung. "But 16, so more than half, are still leaving things in their vehicles."

Reports of items stolen included wallets containing hundreds of dollars in cash, iPods and sunglasses.

Police recommend people lock their vehicles each night and put valuables in the trunk or take them inside.

In other police news:


A Vancouver man is facing 16 criminal charges after being arrested this week by Coquitlam RCMP.

The 27-year-old was alleged to have broken into a Surrey home in February and stolen a large amount of valuables, according to police. He was then allegedly involved in a number of identity thefts, property crimes and other frauds.

And when Coquitlam RCMP's Prolific Target Team arrested the man on Tuesday, he had a handgun with him, said Cpl. Jamie Chung.

"That shows fraud is not just some 'white-collar' crime," Chung said. "It also means criminals who commit frauds are likely involved in other violent crimes and chances are they are carrying deadly weapons."

Matthew Robert Lazarowich faces: four counts of firearm and other weapon-related charges; five counts of identity and other frauds; three counts of possession of stolen property and; two counts of driving while prohibited as well as charges of assaulting a police officer and break and enter.

He's being held in custody until his next court appearance on April 3.


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