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November 22, 2012

Police Make Arrests and Recover Property In Construction Equipment Theft Ring

A six-week investigation by the Vancouver Police Auto Crime Enforcement Unit (ACE) has netted four suspects and two large vans of recovered stolen property in a construction equipment theft ring.

While investigating a rash of commercial and residential break-and-enters targeting high-end construction equipment and tools, the ACE Unit identified a suspect and a vehicle believed to be involved.

The break-ins took place in houses under construction and garages, and included thefts from vehicles, in Vancouver and Richmond in the early morning hours. The suspects then sold the property using fake email accounts on classified websites. They would not leave a contact number, but insisted the buyer leave their phone number for the suspects to call back.

The ACE Unit monitored on-line classified websites and identified several of the suspect’s ads, which lead to the recovery of a stolen 2011 Triumph Daytona motorcycle, a Gio electric bike and thousands of dollars in construction equipment.

After executing two search warrants for houses in Burnaby and Richmond, ACE investigators , with assistance from the Richmond RCMP Property Crime Team, found and seized the stolen property.

Ten victims have already been identified from the property recovered, but much of the construction equipment has not been identified. There are first names and initials on many of the tools and ACE members are looking for the public’s assistance to find the owners.

“Many of these victims were independent contractors who lost work from the theft of their tools,” says Detective Constable Phil Ens of the VPD ACE Unit. “The tools were their livelihood and without them they could not fulfill contracts and could not support their families.”

Police will be requesting charges against four suspects for break and enter, possession of stolen property, theft and trafficking in stolen property.

Investigators are asking anyone who recognizes their equipment to contact the ACE Unit at 604-717-2842 or 604-717-3231 and provide a detailed list of their missing property including any identifiable markings on the property, such as:

• name or initials
• serial numbers
• driver’s license numbers