JOC ARCHIVES

February 3, 2014

Arrests made after rash of Calgary break-ins

The Calgary Police Service has charged two men in relation to a string of break-ins at residential construction sites in the communities of Evanston and Redstone.

According to police, Carlos Alberto Vargas, 39, and Marco Antonio Aravena, 47, both of Calgary, face four counts each of shop break and enter and committing theft.

In addition, they were each charged with one count of mischief to property under $5,000. Vargas also faces numerous charges of driving without a license.

A five month investigation led by North District, uncovered a series of incidents involving new homes under construction and construction trailers.

There were 239 newly built residential homes broken into by vandals just prior to homeowner possession in 2013.

The resulting damages are not only costly to builders, but have a serious impact on new homeowners whose possession dates must be pushed back to allow repairs to be made, often leaving them homeless.

Beyond the theft of tools and appliances, vandals have gone to the extent of stuffing drains and turning all the taps on in a residence, leaving them to flood newly installed flooring and soaking drywall.

Despite the arrests, police are still asking the public to watch for suspicious people and vehicles that are about at odd times. Most contractors are prohibited from working between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Large box-style trucks pulling up after normal working hours should be considered suspicious.

The public should also know that brand new appliances sold online or through other means, without proof of purchase, or warranty, may be the product of a theft.

Workers should be able to provide proof of employment such as a business card, if requested.

Anyone with information about incidents of new home vandalism is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.

JOC NEWS SERVICE

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