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

Conflict expert explains how to talk to people who aren’t social distancing

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

COVID-19: Managing your mental health from isolation

Ministry of Mental Health, Addictions recommends numerous strategies for self-care during pandemic

Saanich moves forward with summer camp registration despite COVID-19

District to give full refunds if camps are cancelled

Sunday morning fire damages Victoria gas station

The fire on Fairfield Road caused $75,000 in estimated damages to tires and automotive equipment

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read