Observant Efforts Halt “Car-Hopper” in Downtown Waterfront BIA

Police Car Crime Splash
Police Car Crime Splash

THUNDER BAY – Observant eyes and knowledge of the area has helped a local small business owner assist police in making an arrest of a “car-hopper”.

Thunder Bay Police Service officers were dispatched to the area of St. Paul and Van Norman Streets at about 10 am on Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 following reports that items were stolen from a parked vehicle.

Police learned an area business owner had witnessed a male suspect acting suspiciously between parked cars. The business owner began to approach the male, who was now inside a vehicle on the passenger’s side. The business owner recognized the vehicle as belonging to someone else and confronted the male, who then fled the area.

The business owner located the vehicle’s owner, who discovered undisclosed items and cash had been removed.

As a result of an ongoing police investigation, and thanks to the assistance from witnesses, investigators were able to quickly identify a suspect. That accused was located and arrested by police on Thursday afternoon.

A 34-year-old Thunder Bay man is charged with Theft Under $5,000 and Breach of Probation. He is scheduled to appear in bail court Friday.

Car-hopping is a term that describes the act of stealing items from multiple vehicles in the same area. Would-be thieves typically go from car to car checking if the doors are locked. When a door is unlocked the thief then goes through the vehicle in search for valuables.

This is a crime of opportunity, and the Thunder Bay Police Service would like to remind the public that locking their vehicle doors and keeping valuables out of sight is a strong defence against carp hopping.

If you observe suspicious activity, please call the police. If you have been the victim of car hopping, consider making a report via the Thunder Bay Police Service’s online reporting tool: https://thunderbaypolice.ca/key-services/services/online-reporting