Victim turns tables on prolific offender

Some Internet sleuthing by a victim of auto crime played an integral role in the arrest of a prolific offender by the regional crime unit.

On March 15, a Victoria man saw what he believed to be his laptop, which had been recently stolen from his car, for sale on an online classifieds site. He replied to the ad and supplied Victoria Police with a cellphone number and name of the 24-year-old woman he contacted.

Through the Prime database, the Victoria officer recognized the woman, who has had 200 prior police contacts, and passed the tip along to the Regional Crime Unit.

Two days later, members of the unit executed a search warrant in the 800-block of Jolly Pl. in Saanich and seized a quantity of other items including electronics, bicycles, luggage, and identification. Three men inside the residence at the time were arrested and released.

Natasha Jean Day was charged with theft under $5,000 for the laptop, with more charges expected as the investigation continues.

“As soon as we saw the opportunity, we recognized that within a day or two, we would probably have success in recovering this stolen property and others as well,” said Sgt. Gary Schenk of the Regional Crime Unit.

Schenk encourages victims of property theft to look for their own stolen items online, since the 10-member unit does monitor those sites but does not have the resources to search each file on an ongoing basis. If someone believes they have identified their stolen property online, they should contact the seller, but keep the exchange minimal, as in this case, Schenk said.

“We don’t want them to necessarily investigate any further on their own because it could jeopardize any future criminal investigation, but (a phone number) is a great lead, tremendous suspect information and we’re more than happy to take it from there.”

Last year, Lordco auto parts was involved in a similar buy and bust, when a representative from the business recognized their property for sale on Used Victoria and contacted police.

Schenk reminds the public that used goods sales online are mostly legitimate, yet sites such as Craigslist and Used Victoria remain a tool in ongoing investigations.

“We (the Regional Crime Unit) have the luxury of the time and the resources to be proactive about these kinds of investigations, so as soon as one comes to our attention, we tend to be all over it,” he said.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Langford liquor store targeted by thieves twice in one night

West Shore RCMP seek to identify break and enter suspect

Victoria city councillors advocate for better measures to reduce sexual violence in downtown bars

A motion coming to council this week asks for more action from liquor establishments

Slow down for maintenance on the Malahat this week

Minor touch-ups and repairs scheduled Monday through Thursday

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read