Police are crediting alert citizens with helping them catch two break-and-enter suspects in South Surrey Monday night.
Cpl. Bert Paquet said a neighbour reported seeing a pair of suspicious individuals at the back fence of a property in the 2300-block of 150B Street just after 7 p.m. July 14.
“This particular person thought this was suspicious,” Paquet said. “She knew the neighbour was away and that there was also a recent break-in at that location.”
Officers who responded confronted and arrested a woman at the back door of the home; a man matching the description of a second suspect was detained moments later.
Paquet said police noticed evidence of forced entry at the home. They also recovered some stolen property.
He said charges of break-and-enter and theft have been recommended against two Surrey residents; a 33-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman. The woman is facing additional charges of breaching conditions.
Noting both of the arrested individuals were also wanted on outstanding warrants, Paquet said police will ask the court to keep the two in custody.
Investigation is ongoing to determine if Monday’s break-in is related to a July 12 break-in at the same home. In that incident, a neighbour called police after noticing a suspicious vehicle.
Paquet said investigators do not believe Monday’s incident is linked to a recent spree of break-ins throughout South Surrey, “but we have not ruled out a possible connection.”
Over a five-day period earlier this month, 17 residential break-ins were reported, believed the work of a group of suspects targeting unoccupied homes.
“We are looking at records and reports over the last few days and weeks… to see if we can match these two to unresolved or unsolved break-and-enters that we are investigating,” Paquet said.
Last Friday, police issued a reminder to residents to ensure they are securing their homes and vehicles. They also stressed the importance of citizens reporting suspicious people or activity.
Monday’s arrests were a direct result of exactly that, Paquet said.
“Many a case has been solved because someone decided to call us when they saw something or heard something,” he said. “Kudos and thank you to someone who did what we are asking of the people – to be an extension of our officers.”
The resident who alerted police to Monday’s break-in told Peace Arch News she hopes others won’t think twice about doing their part to curb crime.
“I just want everyone to be on the same page, and that is if they see, hear or detect suspicious activity to be proactive about it and call 911,” she said by email. “We cannot let this happen over and over again.”