Snow hampers endeavours of two Abbotsford thieves

Culprits caught after vehicles get stuck in the snow in two separate incidents

Footprints in the snow helped lead police to a man who stole and abandoned a car in Abbotsford on Tuesday morning.

Footprints in the snow helped lead police to a man who stole and abandoned a car in Abbotsford on Tuesday morning.

The snow is proving difficult even for criminals.

The Abbotsford Police Department says two incidents occurred early Tuesday morning that resulted in thieves being caught due to poor driving conditions.

In one incident, a unit at a complex in the 1900 block of McCallum Road was broken into at about 5 a.m.

The victim reported to police that he had security video showing the thief and his getaway vehicle, a van.

Const. Ian MacDonald said a couple of hours later, the suspected thief and a colleague were at a fast food restaurant, when the van got stuck in the snow.

The culprit asked a stranger to help push him out, but the stranger happened to be the victim of the earlier break-in who recognized the thief and the van from the surveillance footage.

The victim was able to discreetly call police, and the man was arrested.

MacDonald said he wasn’t sure whether the victim coincidentally was at the same fast food restaurant as the thief, or whether he had tracked down the suspect to that location.

Also Tuesday morning, a man stole an idling Ford Focus from a driveway in the 3200 block of Cheam Drive.

He was able to travel only a couple of blocks before getting stuck in the snow and abandoning the vehicle.

Police who were called by the vehicle owner found the abandoned car and “nice big deep footprints” leading away from it, MacDonald said.

They were quickly able to apprehend a suspect in the area of George Ferguson Way and Babich Street.

The thief made the officers’ job easy – he was carrying the keys and registration documents from the stolen vehicle.

Charges are now pending against the culprits in both incidents.