KINGSVILLE — Ontario Provincial Police believe a Windsor man recently charged with a string of break-ins in Essex County may be connected to a break-in at The Source in Kingsville earlier this month.
But he is not believed to be involved in similar break-ins at the Cycle Works bike shop in downtown Kingsville. All the break-ins occurred within days of each other.
Darrin Tylor Bastien, 29, has been charged in connection with multiple break-ins and thefts in Windsor, Lakeshore, Essex, Tecumseh and Leamington.
“He is a person of interest at the Source,” said OPP Const. Steven Duguay.
The break-in at The Source, an electronics store on Main Street East, occurred Dec. 7 around 2:30 a.m. A window was broken, the intruder or intruders entered the store “and removed a number of electronics,” Duguay said.
He said the store had an alarm system but when the store’s security company arrived the suspect or suspects were gone.
A suspicious vehicle was noticed in the area of the store.
The break-ins at Cycle Works happened over the span of three days. The first occurred early in the morning of Dec. 8 and was a simple smash-and-grab. A bike behind the broken display window was taken.
The second, also in the early morning, happened three days later, but this time the suspect or suspects entered the store and made off with more bikes — many of the high-end variety.
Cycle Works owner Kurtis Dobson said he suspects the thieves lingered nearby after the first break-in and then decided to return for more bikes when it appeared the store had no alarm system.
“They came back and swiped another nine bikes,” he said.
A number of bikes were left and Dobson said it’s clear the thieves knew which bikes were valuable.
“Basically they knew exactly what they wanted to take.”
He said the store was insured. He estimated the value of the stolen bikes at $15,000.
Duguay said Essex County and Windsor have been plagued recently with a spate of break-ins at local businesses.
Police allege Bastien stole trucks and trailers in Windsor and then drove out to the county to commit break-ins.
Duguay said it’s too early to tell whether the arrest will result in a drop in the number of break-ins.
He said police believe Bastien had accomplices.