'Breakout burglar' who hid in ceilings to be sentenced

A thief police are calling the “breakout burglar” will be sentenced this spring after being found guilty in court of several property crimes.

Shane Harold Davidson, 46, earned the nickname after entering stores during business hours, then somehow managing to hide in the ceiling – sometimes for hours at a time – before cutting his way out and stealing cash and valuables after the stores closed.

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Davidson pulled off the Mission Impossible-style breakout crimes on at least two occasions in North Vancouver between December 2017 and January 2018, said Sgt. Peter DeVries, spokesman for the North Vancouver RCMP. But in one early morning incident, the burglar miscalculated and when an employee walked into the cash room around 5 a.m., she found Davidson standing there in the dark.

“Imagine how terrifying that was for her,” DeVries said. “You’re walking into a room expecting it to be empty.”

When the woman screamed in shocked, Davidson physically assaulted her before he took off running, DeVries added.

DeVries said police were able to identify Davidson after recognizing him in video camera surveillance footage.

Following a trial in B.C. Supreme Court last fall, Davidson was found guilty of five related offences, including theft, break and enter, assault and two charges of an unusual criminal code offence – breaking out of a place after committing an offence while inside.

Davidson remains in custody pending his sentencing.

DeVries acknowledged the crime is unusual.

“We have seen examples, for instance, where suspects have gotten into one business then been able to break through the wall and get to another business. It’s a little bit unique for him to be up in the ceiling for sometimes hours, waiting.

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