This photo shows the second of two vehicles that a man tried to steal Sunday night in Saanich near the corner of Douglas Street and Tolmie Avenue. Witnesses helped wrestle the man down before police arrived. (Photo courtesy of Saanich Police)

Saanich police arrest man after two failed carjacking attempts

Police credit witnesses for preventing a worse outcome

A 29-year-old is in the custody of Saanich Police after two failed carjacking attempts Sunday night. The man now faces two counts of robbery and will appear in court Monday.

Sgt. Julie Fast said police arrested the man near Douglas Street and Tolmie Avenue after witnesses had restrained him following his second, unsuccessful attempt. During that incident, he opened the driver’s door of a Honda Civic occupied by a father and a daughter.

RELATED: Thieves target valuables left in unlocked Sidney cars

“The suspect began assaulting the father, who lost control of the car as it backed into a parked tow truck,” said Fast. The car then shifted into drive, striking three other cars, as it was moving through the parking lot, driving over a garden bed, and hitting a retaining wall before stopping, said Fast.

Witnesses then came forward to help and restrained the suspect on the ground, until police arrived, she added.

“Although we never want people to put themselves in harm’s way, the courageous actions of everyone who intervened during this dynamic and dangerous situation, likely prevented further injury and damage as a result of this man’s actions,” said Fast.

Ambulance crews transported the father and daughter to an area hospital where they received treatment for their injuries, believed to be relatively minor.

Moments earlier, the man had also attempted to steal a vehicle from a nearby gas station. The man approached several vehicles at the pumps, and eventually attempted to force his way into a black sedan, possibly a Toyota, whose driver had just climbed back into his car after pumping gas.

“The suspect opened the driver’s door of this car and tried to force his way in, struggling with the driver,” said Fast. Several witnesses assisted the driver, forcing the suspect to flee on a bike.

Fast said the investigation is ongoing. “In particular, we have not identified nor spoken to the first attempted carjacking victim, the driver of the black sedan from the Esso gas station,” she said.

Incidents of this nature happen “very rarely,” said Fast. “We don’t classify them as carjackings on our database; rather, they are captured under the most relevant code that typically relates to a criminal code offence such as robbery [or] theft.”


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