VicPD officers are seeking witnesses in “snatch and dash” cell phone thefts. (Black Press Media file photo)

VicPD seeks witnesses in two ‘snatch and dash’ cell phone thefts

Officer issues tips for a safer meeting

VicPD arrested a male suspect after two reports “snatch and dash” cell phone thefts through Facebook Marketplace on Wednesday.

Officers were called to the 2200-block of Quadra Street just after 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 18 following reports of a robbery in progress. Following an investigation, police found that the suspect contacted the victim through Facebook Marketplace about buying a used iPhone 10. Upon arriving to examine the phone, the man took the phone out of the case and fled.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay father who murdered his two daughters to be sentenced today

The suspect, described as a black man in a black windbreaker, red pants and a beige backpack, was not located by police. At 6:30 p.m. that day, a similar report came from the 1600-block of Hillside Avenue. A victim called about a cell phone theft and a foot chase. When officers arrived, they found the suspect being restrained by the victim’s family.

Upon investigating, officers found that the situation was similar to the “snatch and dash” incident from earlier in the day. Through Facebook Marketplace, the suspect had arranged a meeting with the victim in the food court of Hillside Mall to purchase her used phone. While examining the phone, the suspect ran off with the phone. The victim’s family captured and restrained the man until police arrived and he was taken into police custody.

READ ALSO: Crash snarls traffic on Wilkinson, Interurban roads during morning commute

Police said the suspect was released but will appear in court at a later date and anyone who witnessed either of the incidents is asked to come forward with information to assist with the ongoing investigation. Witnesses can call the police at 250-995-7654 or Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Officers advise that while these types of thefts aren’t common, people should take precautions when meeting people to sell their valuables. Const. Matt Rutherford suggests meeting in a public place or even in the lobby of the police station between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. He noted that if the other party doesn’t want to meet in public, it’s unwise to meet with them.

Rutherford also suggests communicating with the person in more than one method prior to meeting them and bringing a friend to the sale.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Warm “blob” could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Some 500 people attend Sidney vigil for victims of Iran airplane crash

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died when Flight PS752 crashed

Six boat wrecks wash up on Cadboro Bay beaches over the weekend

Dead Boat Society working with Oak Bay, Saanich to clear derelict boats

Saanich Police ask for help locating missing high-risk youth

Robyn Coker-Steel has not been in contact with anyone from her home since Dec. 27

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Most Read