SURREY – A suspect in a series of South Surrey break-ins was found dead inside an Abbotsford restaurant last month. The man, a 33-year-old Surrey resident, was found around 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 16 stuck underneath a security gate inside a restaurant in the 31000-block of Peardonville Road.
"He was trying to gain entry to the building and then somehow got hung up in this accordion-style gate to where the employee coming in in the morning found him unresponsive," said Cpl. Walker with the Abbotsford RCMP.
Surrey RCMP confirmed the man found in Abbotsford was the main suspect in break-ins at several businesses in South Surrey in early August. He was well known to police.
Sheila’s Bistro Lounge, at 2181 160th Street in South Surrey, was one of the businesses broken into in early August. At the time, owner Rob Cox made a public plea to help identify the person involved in the theft and damage at his store.
During the break-in, Cox’s cash box – worth about $225 – was taken, as was the $200 float inside. As well, his smashed front window cost around $500 to replace.
Cox was frustrated that more was not being done to stop the thefts and said that each time this individual broke into a business, it was costing owners around $1,000.
"They (RCMP) said this guy has hit over 100 different places, that’s $100,000 that they could have prevented by not just giving this guy a slap on the wrist in the first couple of times and actually jailing him," he said.
Cox learned that the suspect in his robbery had been found dead over the weekend. "I never wished any ill will on the gentleman, I just wanted him to know that he was doing the wrong thing," Cox said.
Since the August break-ins, Cox said, police have increased patrols in the area and he and other business owners have seen a drop in crime.