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

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

Just Posted

Colwood drive-thru window smashed after suspect receives burger without mustard

Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Victoria police searching for suspect after baseball bat assault

Man assaulted in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue

Victoria police make arrest in connection to string of James Bay fires

50-year-old man faces recommended arson charges for May 14 fires

Second bear sighting in a week at View Royal neighbourhood

West Shore RCMP warns residents to not approach black bears

Unleashed pups not permitted in some Saanich parks

Residents reminded of summer dog restrictions within district

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Most Read