SURREY — Two men have been charged in connection with dozens of break-ins in Surrey where garage door openers were used to get into houses.
The Surrey RCMP recorded 54 such break-ins in June and during the third week of that month 21 were reported to police. Most were in Guildford and Newton.
Both suspects are accused of breaching court orders they were already subject to at the time of their arrests.
“Once inside the homes, the suspects would steal various items including vehicle keys,” said Corporal Scotty Schumann. “They would then use the stolen vehicles to commit additional thefts, frauds and other property crimes across the city.”
The two suspects have been charged related to some of these break-ins but police are still investigating as they believe other suspects are committing similar crimes.
Surrey Mounties say they’re seeing a rise in break-ins where thieves are using garage door openers to gain entry into homes. Schumann said in April and May this kind of scenario — where a thief got into a garage by swiping an opener left in a vehicle — accounted for four per cent and three per cent, respectively, of all the city’s break-ins. The rise ran contrary to the 17 per cent drop overall in property crimes and 12 per cent drop in all residential break-ins in Surrey during the first quarter of this year.
“It only takes a thief a few moments to get into your car, find the garage door opener and then have access to your home,” Schumann noted. “Take the time to remove all valuables from plain sight in your vehicle, including garage door openers.”
The two men charged are Sean Robert Gullick, 23, of Surrey and Anthony Peter Kalt, 18, of no fixed address.
Gullick is charged with 14 crimes: Two counts of break-and-enter, three counts of possession of stolen property under $5,000, two counts of possessing stolen ID, possessing a stolen credit car, fraud under $5,000, possession of break-in tools, theft under $5,000, two counts of breach of recognizance, and breach of probation.
Kalt is charged with 12 crimes: Two counts of break and enter, auto theft, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of stolen property under $5,000, three counts of possession of stolen ID, possession of a stolen credit card, fraud under $5,000, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and breach of recognizance.
Inspector Shawna Baher said the arrests resulted from “solid teamwork that involved everyone from crime analysts who examined the data, forensic services who collected the physical evidence, uniform officers and dispatchers who helped located the suspects, and plainclothes officers who ultimately made the arrests.”