Smart phone app helps catch thieves

  • May. 31, 2011 7:00 a.m.

A smart phone application allowed police to track a pair of thieves who stole a purse left inside a car on Sunday in Maple Ridge.

The purse was taken around 5:30 p.m. from a vehicle parked at Jerry Sulina Park, off 210th Street.

The owners of the vehicle were approaching the parking lot when they heard glass smash and saw two men running to a blue Ford van.

The owners quickly realized their car had been broken into and a purse was missing.

Cpl. Alanna Dunlop said the purse contained an iPhone which had the “MobileMe” application installed on it.

The owners used the software which uses GPS co-ordinates to monitor the movements of the van and eventually caught up to the thieves at 203rd Street where they called police.

The thieves were tracked across the Golden Ears Bridge and arrested by an officer with the RCMP Lower Mainland District’s Police Dog Services.

A 53-year-old man from New Westminster and a 42-year-old man from Burnaby were held in custody overnight for a court appearance on Monday.

“This file truly illustrates how technology can assist authorities, and how good citizens can help protect their valued belongings,” Cpl. Alanna Dunlop said.

“Thefts from this same parking lot have victimized a number of people. Our police officers try to make frequent patrols in and around this lot but it’s a difficult crime to solve. We will continue our patrols, while we prosecute these two.”


Metal theft

Two men were arrested by police on Thursday for stealing metal from a Maple Ridge home.

The pair were spotted entering an abandoned house on 108th Avenue around 9 p.m.

Although the men left the property by the time RCMP arrived, officers were given a good description of the pickup truck they were in.

The truck was stopped on 240th Street where the men were arrested.

Martell Edison Bayliss, 51 and Andrew Phillip Simensen, 39, appeared in court on Friday.

Both men have been charged with theft.


Mounties host fair

Get your kid fingerprinted

Ridge Meadows RCMP will host a police fair at Valley Fair Mall on Sunday, June 5.

The event will allow residents to meet police officers and learn about some of the tools Mounties use to keep our communities safe.

The RCMP’s Emergency Command Vehicle, which is used to co-ordinate officers during serious incidents, and police motorcycles will be on display. A RCMP officer on horseback, officers in red serge and the Emergency Response team will also take part in the fair.

The event is running in conjunction with Operation Family Identification, which will take place inside the mall in front of the London Drugs store.

The family identification program assists parents in cases where children go missing with a kit that includes the child’s fingerprints, photograph and other identifiers.

London Drugs will supply photographs free of charge.

The fair takes place from 11a.m. to 4 p.m.


Man assaulted

Ridge Meadows RCMP are investigating an assault that’s left a Mission man with a concussion.

The 32-year-old was hit by a man as he was leaving Haney Public House on Lougheed Highway near 222nd Street just before 2:30 a.m.

Police said the force of the blow knocked the man to the ground where he hit his head.

Police have been unable to identify a suspect and are looking for witnesses to come forward.


Mounties suit up for summer

Mounties in their iconic red uniforms will be a familiar sight in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows throughout summer.

The Ridge Meadows detachment will have two officers in serge every weekend until Labour Day, attending festivals, community events and posing for photographs with tourists.

Supt. Dave Walsh said it’s part of a plan to make the force more visible.

“The members are actually quite surprised by how many tourists are coming from outside the country,” Walsh told council on Monday.

He said they’ll often ask to have their photos with the police to capture some Canadiana for back home.


Bike crash

A motorcyclist from Chilliwack was sent to hospital on Saturday after he lost control of his bike on a Maple Ridge road.

The crash happened around 5:20 p.m. in the 12900 block of 210th Street.

Police said the 57-year-old was riding in a group when he crashed and hit his head on the road.

The man suffered cuts and abrasions.