Opinion: Are these Burnaby’s dumbest bandits? They’re certainly the sleepiest

Chris Campbell

Two recent arrests by the Burnaby RCMP are showing once again that many criminals are dumb and that the need for a good night’s sleep is important.

The NOW recently published two stories about criminals falling asleep in stolen vehicles – while they were still running.

They’re not exactly criminal masterminds. I feel sleepy just reading about them.

One dude woke up to find his stolen vehicle surrounded by police cruisers and Mounties ready with handcuffs.

It happened in the area of Second Street and 12th Avenue, with keen-eye residents reporting a suspicious vehicle in the residential area, according to Burnaby RCMP.

The occupant was in the vehicle and appeared to be sleeping, and the person who called it in hadn’t seen the car in the neighbourhood before, police said.

When the responding officers ran the plates, they found the car had been reported stolen in Coquitlam, so they pinned it in with their cruisers.

“Luckily, an alert citizen in our community noticed that something was suspicious about this vehicle and reported it to us,” Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Brett Cunningham said in an emailed statement. “The quick thinking of this citizen and the planning by our frontline police officers allowed us to take the suspect into custody safely.”

SUV seizure
Police seized weapons, drugs and cash from a 28-year-old man who drew the attention of local residents when he fell asleep in an idling, stolen SUV in Burnaby for three hours last month. - Burnaby RCMP

In another recent incident, multiple charges are pending against a 28-year-old Burnaby man who fell asleep in an idling, stolen SUV in Metrotown for three hours with drugs and a fake handgun in the vehicle, according to police.

Officers found a man inside, high on cannabis and sleeping, according to police. A search revealed 47 grams of cannabis, suspected crystal meth, one replica handgun, two switchblades, a digital scale and more than $1,400 in cash, according to Burnaby RCMP.

It turned out one of the officers on the scene had also been looking for the same man in relation to an early morning break-in on Feb. 18 at a shop in the Metropolis at Metrotown mall during which tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise had been stolen, according to police.

“Members of the public are some of our best partners, and this is a great example of our community helping to keep our community safe,” Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Mike Kalanj said. “When you see something suspicious, report it.”

All kidding aside, it’s probably just pure luck that these two clowns didn’t end up hurting anyone while driving these stolen vehicles. Thankfully, their sleepiness made the job relatively easy for police.

And I’m writing this mostly to give a shout out to the residents who took the time to call police when they saw something suspicious.

  • With files from Cornelia Naylor

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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