A man accused of stealing from residents impacted by the flooding on Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford was arrested in Chilliwack on Wednesday (Dec. 22).
Andrew Scott Charpentier, 29, has now been charged with four counts of break-and-enter.
Const. Paul Walker said the Abbotsford Police Department’s crime reduction unit (CRU) began to investigate a series of property offences on Sumas Prairie in mid-December.
“Several residents were in the process of dealing with the impact that the flood had on them, their families, and their farms when an unknown person victimized them,” Walker said.
He said the items stolen included tools, jewelry, personal items and toys.
Walker said the Abbotsford CRU worked with the Chilliwack RCMP CRU and identified a person of interest in the crimes.
He said investigators – including the APD forensic ID section and patrol and flood-response officers – worked “around the clock” on the matter.
Charpentier was arrested in the 45900 block of Wellington Avenue in Chilliwack and remains in custody.
Walker said various stolen property was recovered and has been returned to the victims.
CRU Sgt. Johansen said the unit “is committed to the identification, targeting, and arrest of prolific property offenders.”
“CRU has zero tolerance for those that choose to victimize people who have already experienced enough loss,” he said.
Charpentier has an extensive criminal history. In 2017, he faced 90 weapon and stolen-property charges in Alberta.
A police investigation at the time resulted in a search of a storage locker and private home, turning up 25 rifles, four shotguns, four crossbows, two pellet guns, a replica firearm and ammunition.
Also seized were stolen dirt bikes, chainsaws, a generator and electronics.
Charpentier pleaded guilty the following April to three stolen-property charges and 28 weapon charges. He was sentenced to 230 days in jail.
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He later moved to B.C. and in July 2019 was arrested in Chilliwack along with another man in relation to a break-in at a property in Lindell Beach during which two safes were stolen, includng one full of firearms.
Charpentier was charged with break-and-enter and sentenced in December 2020 to time served and 18 months’ probation.
He was again arrested on Dec. 14 of this year after crashing a 2005 Ford truck – which he alledgedly stole from Chilliwack – into a power pole on Bell Road in Abbotsford. He was taken into custody by Chilliwack RCMP at Young Road near Reese Avenue after calls from the public provided a description and whereabouts of the driver.
Charpentier has been charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000 and theft of a motor vehicle in relation to that incident.