A 39-year-old man has been hit with a laundry list of charges after police investigation tied him to at least 13 break and enters where he emptied the coin boxes attached to laundry machines in apartment complexes.
Around 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, a man used a crow bar to pry open the door of an apartment building on Ramsey View Court where he proceeded to enter the laundry room. When he discovered that the laundry machines did not require coins, he left the room.
The man was met by an employee who confronted him regarding his presence in the building. The man became aggressive with the employee, punching him and swinging the crow bar at him.
An off-duty OPP officer was in the area and saw the altercation between the two men. The officer quickly intervened and detained the man.
Members of the GSPS Integrated Crime Team – Break Enter and Robbery Unit arrived a short time later and while searching the man found a magnetic device used to enter the coin box portion of the laundry machines, a pry bar, and a number of loonies believed to be from another break and enter earlier that day. The employee sustained minor injuries as a result of the altercation.
Since the beginning of December, 37 incidents of break and enter have been reported to police where the laundry room of apartment/residential complexes have been entered and the coin boxes of the laundry machines have been emptied.
Through the work of uniform officers and the detailed follow-up done by the Break Enter and Robbery Unit, the 39-year old man of no fixed address has been charged with numerous offences under the Criminal Code of Canada in connection to at least 13 of the Break and Enters where an undetermined amount of money was taken and over $30,000 worth of damage was caused to the buildings and machines.
He faces the following charges:
- Break and Enter to Commit Theft x11
- Break and Enter to Commit Mischief x2
- Possession of Break-in Instruments x13
- Disguise with the Intent to Commit an Indictable Offence x13
- Possession of a Coin Operated Device Breaking Instrument x13
- Obstruct a Peace Officer
- Assault with a Weapon
- Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000
- Break of Recognizance x40
The man attended Bail Court Friday morning to answer to these charges.
"The Greater Sudbury Police Service Integrated Crime Team will continue to focus its efforts on major crime operations that pose a direct and elevated threat to the safety, security and wellness of our community," said a GSPS news release.
"The Integrated Crime Team aims to identify and disrupt organized crime in Greater Sudbury through innovative technology, collaborative partnerships and traditional police work resulting in the arrests of those involved, holding them accountable for their criminal activities and the seizure of illegal drugs, prohibited firearms and proceeds of crime."
In order to deter these types of crimes from happening, developers/building owners should ensure that the coin boxes of laundry machines are emptied on a weekly basis.
If possible, it is suggested that owners make the switch from coin operated machines to laundry machines that operate on a money card system. In all cases, installing video surveillance equipment will increase the chances of identifying individuals who enter buildings/room unlawfully.