RCMP on Vancouver Island nab suspect in 50 break-and-enters

Ian Mactavish, 53, faces multiple after his Nanaimo property searched

Local Mounties arrested a prolific offender accused of committing as many as 50 break-ins the mid-Island region just in 2019.

Nanaimo RCMP Street Crimes Unit arrested Ian Archibald Mactavish, 53, last week after executing a search warrant on his south Nanaimo property, where they discovered clothing and other items linking him several break-and-enters, according to a press release.

Nanaimo RCMP alleged that Mactavish committed as many as 50 break-and-enters between January and April of this year, stealing cash and other items from businesses in the Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Oceanside areas.

Based on security camera footage, Mactavish would sometimes crawl or crouch near the floor in order to avoid motion detection, according to the release, which notes that the majority of businesses were not equipped with “glass-break” alarms, enabling a suspect to leave quickly.

Mactavish has been charged with multiple counts of break-and-enter and theft. He remains in police custody and is expected to appear in Nanaimo provincial court on May 15.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said at least 40 of the break-ins occurred within the city. He said while the majority of thefts occurred in the north end, Mactavish committed thefts all over the city.

RELATED: Nanaimo RCMP warning public about rise in break-and-enters

“We are talking Subway, Splitsville bowling alley, hair salons, pizza spots, NYLA Fresh Thread,” O’Brien said. “Everywhere.”

O’Brien said Mactavish “avoided like the plague” any businesses that displayed signs saying ‘no cash on site’ and looked for easy targets. O’Brien said although some items were found during the search of the home in south Nanaimo, no cash was ever recovered.

“These were smash and grabs. He went after money. He went after money and small items, which are disposed of,” O’Brien said. “The money was obviously used to buy dope.”

O’Brien said Mactavish moved to Vancouver Island from Alberta sometime in late September and described him as a “prolific” offender that is well-known to law enforcement in both jurisdictions.

“He’s a habitual criminal who has made a habit and a life out of committing crime,” he said.







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke Food Bank sends out call for help

Need continues as holiday season food drives are over

Saanich Police ask for help locating missing high-risk youth

Robyn Coker-Steel has not been in contact with anyone from her home since Dec. 27

Some 500 people attend Sidney vigil for victims of Iran airplane crash

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died when Flight PS752 crashed

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read