Homeowner helps thieves drop their plunder

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An alert Chatham homeowner played a large role in recovering his stolen property recently.

Chatham-Kent police say at about 3:40 a.m. on July 26, officers were called to a Briardene Street residence in response to a break-in. The homeowner reported that he woke up to noise emanating from his garage. He investigated and discovered someone had entered his car, which was parked in the driveway, and stolen his wallet and the remote garage door opener.

The person had then entered the garage, police say, and made off with a pair of racing bicycles and a dirt bike, with a combined estimated value of about $8,200.

The victim hopped into his car and drove around, looking for the thieves.

Police say he saw a man riding one of his bikes, heading south on Victoria Avenue. The suspect dropped the bike and fled on foot.

The homeowner spotted another suspicious man walking in the area as well. Police say the other stolen bicycle and the dirt bike were found nearby and returned to the homeowner.

This wasn’t the only break-in that night, as police received a second report of a break and enter on Briardene. Someone got into a shed and stole a Supercycle mountain bike.

About 6:15 a.m., officers found the stolen bike at a motel on Grand Avenue East in Chatham. Officers arrested the guy in possession of the bike. A day earlier, police found the man to be in possession of a pry bar, a pair of gloves and a flashlight, police say.

A 24-year-old Chatham man is charged with possession of property obtained by crime, possession of break-in instruments and two counts of break and enter.

Police continued to investigate and soon identified their second suspect.

On Tuesday, police arrested and charged a 36-year-old Chatham man with break and enter.

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