WEST Vancouver police have nabbed a suspect wanted in a spate of property crimes on the North Shore and around the Lower Mainland.
In the early morning hours of Aug. 10, West Vancouver officers arrived at the scene of a traffic accident on Highway 101 near Caulfield Drive. They found an abandoned car that had been reported stolen from Surrey with licence plates reported stolen in Burnaby. Three hours later, around 6:20 a.m., a Falcon Road resident called police to report that someone had just tried to steal his car. Officers rushed to the area, but before they could even begin a search, a third call came in, this time from a Marine Drive resident, who was following a man who she said had stolen a bike from her home.
Police found and arrested Surrey resident Robert Paton shortly after.
Once in custody, investigators found evidence allegedly linking Paton to a string of other crimes in Richmond and West Vancouver. All had taken place in the hours leading up to his arrest.
Paton is now facing eight charges including theft, possession of stolen property, failure to comply with probation orders, possession of break-in instruments, carrying a concealed weapon, and failure to remain at the scene of an accident.
Finding the suspect in the spree wouldn’t have been possible without the help of community members calling police, according to Cpl. Fred Harding a spokesman for the WVPD. Incidents like this should inspire neighbourhoods to form block watch groups, he added.
Paton is due in court for a bail hearing Aug. 21.