Suspect sought in Hwy. 17 home and car break-ins

·2 min read

Ontario Provincial Police are seeking the public’s assistance as it investigates home and car break-ins on Highway 17 in East Ferris Wednesday evening.

Two homes and several cars were broken into on the north side of the highway across from Dreany Lake, part of a rash of similar break-ins reported last month on Highway 94.

This time, a thief entered two homes while the residents were inside.

"These are very disturbing occurrences," said East Ferris Mayor Pauline Rochefort, noting the East Ferris Police Services Board was informed in the morning. A report to the mayor and council last month noted a rash of vehicle break-ins in the Highway 94 area with residents warned to lock their vehicles and homes.

In a media release Thursday morning, North Bay OPP said they responded to a break-in that occurred at 8:20 p.m.

“The tenant, who resides in the basement apartment, came home to find a male inside the residence. The suspect subsequently fled the scene on foot,” the release stated. “The homeowners, who reside upstairs, were home at the time but were not aware of the break and enter in progress.”

Further investigation revealed a number of vehicles had been entered and rummaged through. Officers also discovered another break and enter at an adjacent residence.

One of the homeowners told BayToday the OPP used a drone with an infrared camera to see if the suspect was in the area hiding in the vacant land behind the homes.

The suspect is described as a White male, 5'8'' (173 cm), thin build, wearing a black ski mask, dark clothing, and carrying the stolen backpacks believed to be containing the stolen property.

The list of reported stolen items included:

The investigation is continuing with the assistance of members from the OPP Forensic Identification Services (FIS).

Officers are requesting the public's assistance and ask anyone with information regarding these break and enters, to contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122 or their nearest police authority.

Should you wish to remain anonymous please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip online at http://www.nearnorthcrimestoppers.com where you may be eligible for a reward of up to $2000.

Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada.

Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca