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Fort Langley ‘bush man’ arrested in area again

Matthew Ostrander had been banned from a wide area around Fort Langley

A man banned from being in or around Fort Langley after a recent break and enter conviction has been arrested again in the area, less than three months later.

Court records show that Matthew Wayne Ostrander was arrested Thursday, March 7 for breach of a probation order in Langley.

Ostrander, 38, was arrested in the early morning hours of Dec. 24 last year after a group of local men organized an impromptu “dads stroll” following a string of recent thefts and break ins around the community.

After spotting a man emerging from a closed local business, they followed him at a safe distance while calling the police. The man was arrested.

Ostrander was convicted of breaking and entering on Jan. 22 and sentenced to 90 days in jail and two years of probation.

One of the conditions of his probation was being banned from being within a two-kilometre radius of Fort Langley.

But according to a local resident who asked that their name not be used, break ins began again about a week before the most recent arrest.

READ ALSO: Thief banned from Fort Langley after latest break in conviction

There were a number of sightings of a man believed to be Ostrander, and the RCMP told locals to be on the alert.

A suspect was spotted leaving the basement of the Bedford House building around 9 p.m., RCMP were alerted, and officers made an arrest near St. Andrew’s Church on Glover Road.

Cpl. Craig Van Herk of the Langley RCMP confirmed that Ostrander had been arrested on March 7 for breaching his probation conditions by being in Fort Langley. He was held in custody overnight to appear in court in Surrey the following day.

Persons charged with a criminal offence are considered not guilty until the charges are proven in court.

Ostrander has a lengthy criminal record in Ontario and B.C., primarily on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland, including in and around Fort Langley.

In 2015, police dubbed him a local “bush man” when he was believed to be living in the woods near the Houston Trail. He was arrested after he was found sleeping in a home under construction, and sentenced to 28 months in prison for a number of offences committed around the area, mostly involving thefts and break ins.

Most of Ostrander’s crimes have involved thefts, including of food. In 2017, he was convicted of assault in Coquitlam.

Late last year, Ostrander returned to Fort Langley, where locals began complaining about a string of break and enters.

The first dads stroll was very loosely organized, with men walking around the community in small groups and keeping watch. When they spotted Ostrander, they called RCMP and he was arrested without incident. He had also been wanted at the time on bench warrants for previous criminal charges.

Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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