Police arrest tool thief captured on video

Surveillance footage from Abbotsford homeowner Dana Mosher was instrumental in capturing the 17-year-old suspect.

A still image from video surveillance footage shows a thief wheeling away a tool cart from an Abbotsford garage. His face has been blurred because he is a youth

A still image from video surveillance footage shows a thief wheeling away a tool cart from an Abbotsford garage. His face has been blurred because he is a youth

Abbotsford Police say video footage of a young man stealing tools from a home garage and urinating on the floor was crucial in his arrest Tuesday afternoon.

Const. Ian MacDonald said the 17-year-old suspect was identified by people who viewed the surveillance video, which the victim placed online, and by those who saw still images of him on posters placed in the neighbourhood.

He was arrested as he was walking along Peardonville Road, and police then executed a search warrant of his home. There, they found dozens of tools that homeowner Dana Mosher had reported as stolen in the theft last Wednesday at his home on Clearview Crescent.

MacDonald said police received several tips and viewed Facebook postings that named the teen, who lives only a few blocks from Mosher.

“People who are familiar with him and saw the video were calling him out.”

The video was compiled from footage that Mosher’s 15-year-old grandson helped him retrieve from the surveillance camera installed in the garage.

The footage indicated that the thief made three separate trips, taking a few items each time and returning a few minutes later to grab more.

On his last trip, the culprit urinated on the floor of the garage before loading items into his backpack.

Mosher estimated that the total value of the stolen items was at least $5,000.

Police returned all his tools late Tuesday evening. The only thing missing was a $20 stud finder.

“I’m thrilled to death. I’m glad I got everything back, and I’m glad he’s in custody,” Mosher said.

MacDonald said the teen has had about 50 previous interactions with police for petty crimes such as mischief and theft. He now faces break-and-enter charges.

He cannot be named because he is a youth whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.