Coquitlam RCMP nab cat burglar
Police are releasing home security tips after collaring a suspected cat burglar who entered people's homes through unsecured doors and windows late at night and stole their valuables.
The incidents took place in Burquitlam and Maillardville over February and early March but on March 1, police caught up with longtime Coquitlam resident Paul Fontaine, 47, who was charged and convicted of possession of stolen property, driving while prohibited and breach of a probation, and given an 18-month sentence.
The investigation took 18 weeks and a member of the Coquitlam RCMP's prolific offender team says Fontaine was a suspect in earlier crimes.
“I noticed a pattern when I reviewed the break-in files and remembered a couple of cat burglars who were in the area years ago," Cpl. Scott Grimmer state in a press release. "I checked and found out one is in jail and the other one is not.
"We worked around the clock looking for evidence to either prove or eliminate him as a suspect. In about a week, we caught him allegedly in the act of committing more crimes."
Among the items stolen were wallets, purses, electronics and keys to homeowner's vehicles and the thievery took place while people were sleeping. In one instance, caught on video, a dog attempted to alert the homeowners but was told to go back sleep.
"We are advising everyone to call the police if you think someone broke in or tried to break in to your home. We are also reminding everyone to secure your home, especially the back windows and doors," Grimmer said.
Home security information and tips are available on the RCMP's website at coquitlam.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.