VERNON - A man accused of breaking into a two Vernon homes is probably cursing neighbourhood spirit as he faces multiple criminal charges.
RCMP say at around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3 he broke into a house on the 3400 block of 35 Avenue. The resident confronted the suspect and was assaulted, suffering minor injuries. The would-be thief took off on foot.
Neighbours saw the fleeing suspect and were able to grab him and hold him until police arrived, according to a RCMP media release.
The suspect has been linked to another crime the day before. On Monday, Jan. 2, Crystal Brook left her four children — the eldest aged 14 — sleeping at home while she dropped her spouse off at work. She was only gone 10 to 15 minutes, and says she heard someone leave through the front door when she returned through the back.
She soon realized numerous items were missing from the home, including tablets, an iPhone, a PlayStation 4 and other electronics. Some were Christmas gifts for her kids.
“It could’ve been so much more that was stolen. If he’d had more time here, we could’ve been robbed blind,” Brook says.
A worse thought is what might have happened to her children.
“It sickens me to think what could have happened,” she says. “It is very scary.”
She’s glad the perpetrator has been caught, but isn’t holding out much hope about getting her stuff back.
“They (police) said the guy told them he gave it all to someone else,” she says.
Police say William Mathieson, 37, has been charged in connection with both incidents. He was also found to have outstanding warrants for break and enter, and theft. He’s being held in custody and is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 11.
— This story was updated at 2:52 p.m. Jan. 5, 2016 to add comments from Crystal Brook, and again at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 6, 2016 to include the age of her eldest child.
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