At least two civilians helped Saanich Police arrest a man, who tried to rob a Saanich laundry Saturday night.

At least two civilians helped Saanich Police arrest a man, who tried to rob a Saanich laundry Saturday night.

Civilians help arrest a robber in Saanich Saturday

At least two citizens helped arrest a 46-year-old man now facing robbery charges.

Staff Sgt. Marc Chateau said the citizens arrested the man outside the Tillicum Laundry in the 3400 block of Tillicum Road Saturday night after he attempted to steal $10 or $15 worth of coins from the business’ change machine by manipulating it.

The man first assaulted a female employee, then a male employee, after each of them had tried to stop him, said Chateau.

The man then fled the business, only to find himself chased down by a group of civilians. At least two were holding the man when police arrived on scene, said Chateau, who was not quite sure how to assess the actions of the individuals.

“Our typical answer is we don’t want people to get involved that way,” he said. Civilians who attempt to arrest suspects generally do not know whether they are carrying weapons, said Chateau. “It could have turned out real poorly.” In fact, the man was carrying a blade, which he did not use.

The timing of the arrest – Saturday evening, with courts closed – meant that the suspect received his first hearing while at the Saanich Police station, over the phone. Police released the man on conditions, and he is scheduled to appear again Dec. 20.

Chateau said the man has had a criminal record prior to this incident.