A 26-year-old Nanaimo man arrested March 12 in Ladysmith faces multiple charges and remains in custody awaiting an April 21 court date in relation to an overnight crime spree in Greater Victoria and the mid-Island.
According to West Shore RCMP, the spree began March 11 around 9 p.m. when Nanaimo RCMP received a report of a man with a dog stealing a white Subaru SUV after demanding the owner get out.
Just before 4 a.m. on March 12, Saanich police received an alarm call from a closed gas station in the 300-block of Burnside Road West. On arrival, police found evidence of a break and enter, which was confirmed by CCTV footage which showed a white Subaru SUV ramming the store’s door, causing an estimated $10,000 in damage.
The vehicle license plate and the suspect were both visible in the footage and matched details from the Nanaimo incident.
Two hours later, multiple West Shore RCMP officers responded to a gas station robbery call in the 2000 block of West Shore Parkway in Langford. Police were told by staff a man entered the store brandishing an “edged weapon” and demanded cash before fleeing in a vehicle with the cash. CCTV footage confirmed it was the same suspect and white SUV.
Around 8 a.m. that day, Ladysmith RCMP responded to a report of a vehicle on fire along the Trans Canada Highway, and confirmed it was the same white SUV seen on CCTV in previous incidents. A witness to the fire told police they saw a man fleeing with a dog just before the vehicle went up in flames.
The RCMP’s Forensic Identification Section and Police Dog Services were dispatched and just after 10 a.m., a man walking along the highway with a dog matching the description of the suspect in previous incidents was located and arrested.
“The prompt, detailed information received from the public assisted the police in quickly locating and arresting the suspect,” said Const. Meghan Groulx, spokesperson for the West Shore RCMP. “Thankfully no one was injured during this short-lived crime spree.”
The man has been charged with mischief, break and enter, arson, possession of stolen property and two counts of robbery. He remains in custody until his next court date on April 21.
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