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Thieves target Abbotsford churchgoers

Thieves have been targeting the vehicles of Abbotsford churchgoers to obtain their car registration and garage door openers.

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said three vehicles at two churches had their windows smashed in and their tires slashed on Sunday morning between 8:30 and 11 a.m. The churches are located in the 3100 block of Gladwin Road and the 32000 block of Downes Road.

In one case, the culprits used the registration to find the owner's address and used the garage door opener to gain access to their home while they were attending church. Electronics and jewelry were stolen.

MacDonald said a neighbour later reported seeing a suspicious vehicle in the area, but could only identify it as a black sedan. The neighbour also did not have a concrete description of the suspects.

MacDonald said the incidents are linked to one previously reported in the Abbotsford News. Chantel Funk said her parents, who did not want their names used, were robbed on Sunday, Jan. 2.

They had been attending a morning service at Abbotsford Pentecostal Assembly. When the service was over, they discovered the passenger window of their vehicle had been smashed. Stolen from the car were a Bluetooth wireless device, a TomTom GPS, a garage door opener and their insurance papers.

The thieves broke into the couple's home and stole electronics and jewelry.

MacDonald said two people of interest have been identified, but more information is needed before arrests can be made.

He cautioned people to ensure they remove all valuables from their vehicles.

"Most people think of a garage door opener as a convenience, but it's a key (to their home)," he said.

Vehicle registration papers can also be used in identity theft, he added.

Anyone with information is asked to call Abbotsford Police at 604-859-5225.

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