Police say an investigation is leading them to believe more than 50 mailboxes, a dozen vehicles, and several buildings were broken into by the same person.
The Winnipeg Police Service says a 33-year-old suspect is facing charges following a long list of alleged fraud and property crimes, amounting to 16 victims and over $40,000 in damaged and stolen property.
"These crimes involved break and enters, damage/thefts of vehicles, and fraudulent use of identity documents and credit cards," the WPS says in a statement.
On Thursday, early in the morning at 1:30 a.m., Central District General Patrol officers saw a stolen vehicle while in the area of Sherman Street and Logan Avenue. Noticing the police, the suspect "bailed out of the vehicle," fleeing on foot. A short distance later he was found and placed under arrest, where he remains in custody.
While in custody, officers with the Property Crime Unit discovered he was a man linked to several other offences, dating back as early as the fall.
On November 11 in the 500 block of Wardlaw Avenue, a wallet was stolen from a parked vehicle. This allowed the suspect to falsify documents to obtaining credit cards in this victim’s name. Between November 26 and November 27, those credit cards were charged approximately $5,000 in the victim’s name.
In January, the same suspect is believed to have broken into approximately 50 mailboxes, a storage locker, and 10 vehicles, taking property. Police say he also broke into three commercial businesses in the 100 block of Princess Street, all on January 15.
Between January 1 and February 5, 21 instances of mailbox break and enters at places including apartments and residential free-standing community mailboxes were reported, aside from this incident. In 2020, a total of 138 mailboxes were broken into.
"When a community/apartment mailbox is broken into, one should contact both the police and Canada Post," Constable Dani McKinnon, Public Information Officer with the Winnipeg Police Service said in a statement on February 5 to CHVN.
The officer says the Property Crime Unit investigates groupings of these crimes.
"Residents of apartment and condo complexes certainly will benefit from communicating with their building management teams e.g. improving door security, CCTV installations, lighting and raising awareness within the block, so other tenants do not let unknown people into the building."
On January 27 in the 1600 block of Inkster Boulevard, the man is believed to have stolen the keys from a vehicle rental business, returning them after hours, stealing a vehicle worth over $5,000 at the same time.
The next day, the suspect broke into a residence in the 300 block of Flora Avenue, stealing items from the home.
The 33-year-old suspect is facing 26 property and fraud-related offences. He remains in custody.