Thieves tamper with security systems at two computer stores

Police are investigating a possible connection between two similar commercial break-ins at Douglas Street electronics stores

Police are investigating a possible connection between two similar commercial break-ins at Douglas Street electronics stores over the weekend.

At about 1:15 a.m. on Sept. 23, Saanich police were notified of multiple security alarms at the Best Buy store at Uptown.

Officers arrived a few minutes later to find the front door pried open and a damaged inner security gate. Glass on an interior window had also been damaged, but security film ultimately prevented entry.

Investigators discovered the alarm system had been tampered with from the exterior. There was no video recovered from the incident, as the store’s surveillance system had gone down earlier in the day.

“Some thought and some planning had gone into trying to compromise electronic security for the store,” said Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen.

The next day around 3:15 a.m., police were called to the nearby Westworld Computers store in the 3200-block of Douglas St.

Westworld, which had been the target of a similar attack last year, had been once again accessed through the wall of a neighbouring unit.

Thieves took an estimated $40,000 worth of Apple products including iPads, MacBooks and Mac mini computers. Forensic investigators also confirmed that there had been tampering with the alarm system for the store, and like the Best Buy incident, there was no usable video surveillance gathered.

“Be forewarned. All of the serial numbers have been recorded,” Jantzen said. “If you buy an item even unwittingly, you are in possession of stolen property and it can lead to charges, and most certainly a monetary loss if you are in possession of a stolen item that we need as evidence.”

Anyone with information on an individual selling Mac computers cheap, to pass that information to police at 250-475-4321.

nnorth@saanichnews.com