A 48-year-old man allegedly trying to steal industrial cable from a closed Burnaby business was caught in the act last weekend, according to police.
At about 1 a.m. on Saturday, a security company monitoring the Big Bend business via CCTV told police the man had broken in and was trying to steal cable.
Officers soon had the area surrounded, according to Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Brett Cunningham.
“With many businesses being closed during the COVID-19 crisis, our officers have increased their patrols,” he said in a press release. “We have now dedicated additional officers from our community response and prolific offender suppression teams to patrol commercial areas where empty businesses could be targeted.”
When the suspect spotted the officers, he tried to take off in a small moving truck, according to Cunningham.
“With police having blockaded the area, the man had nowhere to go and crashed his vehicle through the gate of a nearby industrial complex,” he said. “The man then exited the vehicle and attempted to run, but was quickly taken into custody by officers after a short foot pursuit.”
Cunningham said the arrest signalled what Burnaby RCMP is doing to protect shuttered businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If criminals think they can take advantage of businesses during this crisis, they’ve come to the wrong city,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by Chief Supt. Deanne Burleigh.
“We know that our local business community is hurting right now with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and we want them to know that the Burnaby RCMP is going to be there for them,” she said in the release.
Burleigh urged local residents to help deter crime at closed businesses by reporting suspicious behaviours, liking people looking into the windows of closed stores or trying to open the doors.
Burnaby RCMP is urging businesses to keep windows clear of merchandise, remove all cash from the site, secure all doors and windows with good locks, and make sure alarms, security cameras and exterior lights are on and in good working order.
Police are also asking business owners to check on their businesses regularly to make sure no security equipment has been damaged or removed.