THUNDER BAY – Crime isn’t staying indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. A pair of men, one aged 51-years of age, and the other a 41-year-old male were arrested in the Woodside Street area after Thunder Bay Police Service received reports of suspicious people going into driveways just before 3:30 am on Sunday, April 19, 2020.
Car hopping refers to a criminal practice in which a person, or group of people, target a neighborhood and attempt to break in and steal from multiple vehicles in a short amount of time. Often a person involved in car hopping is checking for unlocked doors and ignores locked vehicles. However there are cases where the would-be thief breaks into locked vehicles.
In recent days, area residents have expressed concerns and reported ongoing suspected car hopping activity in this neighbourhood. As a result Thunder Bay Police Service had increased its patrols in the areas identified by concerned citizens.
On Sunday morning, police officers arrived on the scene with two suspects inside a pickup truck appearing to be sorting through its contents.
As the police officers approached the two suspects fled on foot to a nearby backyard but were quickly located and arrested.
Richard Allan HODGINS, 51, of Thunder Bay, has now been charged with Trespassing, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000 and Breach of Probation.
A second accused, a 41-year-old Thunder Bay man, is charged with Trespassing, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, Possession of Break-in Instruments and Breach of Probation. Police have not identified the 41-year-old man yet.
HODGINS appeared in bail court on Sunday, April 19, 2020, and was remanded into custody with a future appearance date. The second accused was released with conditions and a future appearance date.
None of the charges have been proven in court.
Police advise that car hopping is a crime of opportunity and the best defence is to ensure there are no valuables in your vehicle.