UPDATE: Police identify possible suspect in tool theft video
Abbotsford Police have identified a possible suspect who was caught on a home video surveillance system early Wednesday morning as he stole tools and urinated in the victim’s garage.
Const. Ian MacDonald said police received several tips about the man’s identity after the video was posted publicly. He cannot be named because no charges have been laid.
Homeowner Dana Mosher turned the footage over to police and posted the video online in hopes of snaring the culprit.
“If I can help them in any way to get an individual like this off the street, great.”
Mosher first discovered the theft after police knocked on the door of his Clearview Crescent home at about 2 a.m. Wednesday.
A neighbour had reported seeing a man pushing a tool cart down the street. By the time police arrived, the man was gone but the cart was left behind.
Officers noticed that the doors of a vehicle parked in Mosher’s driveway were open and the hood was up. They knocked on his door, and Mosher immediately recognized the tool cart in the back of the police car.
A check of his garage indicated that a thief had broken in and stolen dozens of tools that Mosher had purchased over the years. Many had been collected from his years as an electrician before he retired in 2010.
Later that day, Mosher’s 15-year-old grandson helped him view footage from the surveillance camera in the garage. Mosher had installed the device – and others in and around his home – when he and his wife moved to the neighbourhood about five years ago.
Signs on the property state, “If you can read this sign, smile for the camera,” but the culprit either didn’t see them or didn’t care.
The footage indicated that the young man made three separate trips to the garage, taking a few items each time and returning a few minutes later to grab more.
But what disturbed Mosher the most was the footage that he didn’t notice until it had been uploaded to his computer. On the third trip, the thief casually urinated on the garage floor before loading some more items into his backpack.
“It just went by us originally and we didn’t even notice it ... When I looked at it a second time, my jaw dropped opened and I felt absolutely violated. It just added insult to injury,” Mosher said.
Among the tools taken in the theft were a case of electronic testing items, a 120-piece Craftsman tool set, a box of air tools and electrical drills. Mosher said a conservative estimate of their value is $5,000.
He doesn’t expect to get the tools back, but he hopes police will confirm the thief’s identity and charges will be laid.
“Maybe it will keep him from doing it to somebody else.”
The police are continuing to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225.
The News has altered the video image accompanying this story, as the perpetrator appears to be a potential young offender whose identity would be protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.