(File photo)

A prolific criminal has been nabbed after a rash of vehicle thefts over the past several weeks.

In a media release, Saanich Police said they made the arrest on Tuesday, June 1st.

They believe the suspect is responsible for a large number of thefts from vehicles, primarily in the north area of Saanich.

Officers with the street crime unit were able to locate and arrest a 42-year-old man who is well known to them. Police said he has a lengthy history of targeting unlocked vehicles in the region.

The suspect would steal items such as cash, wallets, purses, jewellery and credit cards,
of which he would then make fraudulent purchases at various stores.

Over the course of an evening, it would not be uncommon for him to enter 80 to 100 vehicles looking for these items.

A search warrant was conducted at his home in Esquimalt the same day as his arrest, which yielded recovered stolen items from several of these thefts from vehicles in Saanich, and some as well in the Esquimalt and Westshore area.

“We understand that this suspect targeted specific areas of Saanich due to his previous years of knowledge that these areas were known to have a combination of more unlocked vehicles and items of value left inside overnight than other areas in our area,” said Cst. Markus Anastasiade.

“While officers with our Street Crime Unit continue to investigate the property-related offences committed in our community, our crime prevention efforts are also increasing to help remind residents of the role that they play in locking out auto crime.”