Serial break-in artist nabs six-year sentence

A serial break-in artist who recently pled guilty to six break and enters, including one of a retail store in the Park Royal shopping centre, has been handed a six-year jail sentence, minus credit for time already served.

Andrew Paul Vandal, 46, was handed the sentence by provincial court Judge Reginald Harris.

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The sentence means Vandal will serve approximately 2.5 more years in jail, in addition to time spent in custody since October 2017.

Vandal’s offences included commercial break-ins of a spa, restaurant and real estate office in Vancouver as well as the store in Park Royal.

In most of the break-ins, Vandal stole cash and electronics like laptop computers and iPhones.

In most cases, he used a prying tool to force door locks to open.

Police nabbed Vandal for the Park Royal break-in after arresting him in North Vancouver for breaking terms of a court order not to possess tools in October 2017, and found $1,200 worth of clothing, a laptop computer and $300 cash from a retail store in his possession. An investigation later revealed he’d gained entry to the store through a rear door reached by a secure passageway and that a tool had been used to open the door, according to the judge’s decision.

Vandal was under a court recognizance to be of good behaviour at the time and was also bound by a curfew, banning him from being outside between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to court documents.

Vandal also pled guilty to two residential break-ins in Vancouver, including one in which he entered a townhouse through a second-floor balcony sliding door while the resident, a senior woman, was asleep.

According to the judge’s decision, Vandal even searched a dresser in the woman’s bedroom while she slept. He also drank milk from a jug in the fridge that was later linked to his DNA.

In handing down his sentence, Harris noted Vandal has an extensive and continuous criminal history, starting in 1989 and running until March 2014, including 60 criminal convictions, of which 40 offences were break-ins.

He added that Vandal has also been a drug user for 30 years and was a heroin addict when he committed the latest rash of break-ins.



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