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

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch 94-year-old in Saanich earns permanent Canadian residency

Couple of 45 years to stay together in Cadboro Bay

Ron MacDonnell leans over the railing on Beacon Wharf Tuesday afternoon. The Town of City is currently looking into the future of the aging structure. It could make way for a concrete pontoon once part of the floating bridge over Hood Canal in Washington State. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney explores public-private partnership for iconic Beacon Wharf

Wharf committee recommends town invite pontoon company to submit proposal

Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, is shown during a news conference in Ottawa in 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
Isolating provinces is a bad idea, says Canadian Chamber of Commerce

National business organization calls for cohesive approach to COVID-19 measures

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Metchosin Coun. Kyara Kahakauwila is stepping down as deputy mayor following controversy over her decision to travel to Mexico in December. (Black Press Media file photo)
Councillor steps down as deputy mayor of Metchosin after controversial trip to Mexico

Mayor hopeful mediation will help council get back to the business of community

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open

Homalco First Nation said that it will intervene in the judicial review sought by aquaculture companies with regards to federal decision to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms by 2022. In this picture from Sept. 24, a demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver.(Quinn Bender photo)
Chief says push for fish farm judicial review a challenge to reconciliation, Aboriginal Rights

Homalco First Nation chief reacts to Mowi and Cermaq intervention in Discovery Island decision

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Most Read