Vancouver Police arrest 2 chronic offenders for multiple commercial break-ins (updated)

VANCOUVER Police have arrested two chronic offenders related to commercial break-ins in Vancouver and surrounding communities over the past few months.

“We believe that the arrest of these two suspects and the subsequent charge approval will have a major impact on commercial break-ins around the city,” said Sgt. Aaron Roed on Wednesday. “However, police efforts to target property crime offenders will continue.”

Detectives from the VPD Property Crime Unit have been investigating the rise in commercial break-and-enters in Vancouver since the COVID-19 pandemic first began, and have been able to identify a number of suspects targeting Vancouver businesses. Multiple businesses throughout the city have been closed due to physical distancing rules and criminals have been targeting the closed and vacant stores and buildings.

In addition to this and other projects by investigators, VPD patrol officers have also been targeting property crime by increasing visibility in the hardest hit areas and deploying more patrol officers and community safety personnel.

On April 3, Vancouver Police arrested 44-year-old Burnaby resident Shane Duhamel, 44. Burnaby resident Jesse Palanio, 33, was arrested on March 29.

VPD investigators presented 70 charges against the two suspects to Crown for review, and 30 charges have been accepted and approved.

Duhamel is charged with 13 counts of break and enter; and 1 count of possession of break-in instruments.

Palanio is charged with 6 counts of break and enter; 2 counts of identity theft; 1 count of deal with identity documents; 1 count of possess break-in instruments; 1 count of possessing prohibited weapons; 2 counts of breach of release orders; 1 count of fraud; 1 count of personation with intent; and 1 count of possession of stolen property.

The investigations against these two people are ongoing. VPD investigators anticipate recommending additional charges in the future.

Both Duhamel and Palanio are still in custody.

“We are still asking businesses to move property out of view of criminals, use shutters to reduce visibility, upgrade locks and increase lighting levels to ensure the business is well lit,” said Roed.  “Together we can stop businesses from being targeted during these unprecedented times.”