On May 1, 2014 shortly after 6 am an alert citizen observed a white Jeep Cherokee apparently run out of gas in the 1100 block of Reynolds Road near Quadra Street. The citizen observed the two occupants quickly exit the vehicle and then hastily walk southbound on Quadra Street. The citizen thought their behavior was suspicious so took some photographs of them with his smart phone. He then contacted Saanich Police to report what he’d observed. When Saanich Police members arrived at the scene it was quickly ascertained that the vehicle was stolen as the ignition had been “punched”. The vehicle was seized for Forensic examination and the photographs of the two suspects seen leaving the vehicle were obtained. Those photographs were later circulated to police members in the hopes that the suspects could be identified.
On May 2, at approximately 5 pm Saanich Police mountain bike members happened to check two individuals at Cuthbert Holmes Park. The officer checking them recalled the photographs that had been circulating and felt very strongly that the two he was checking were the same individuals in the photographs. Further checks with the Forensic section were made and the copy of the photographs were texted to the bike officer. This resulted in the two suspects being arrested for the theft of the vehicle. The male suspect was also the subject of a Province Wide Warrant for being Unlawfully at Large.
The male was held in Saanich Police custody and was set to appear in Court on Monday to answer to the warrant(s) as well as the new charges stemming from the recovery of the stolen vehicle.
This was an excellent example of an alert citizen being proactive after witnessing something that was felt to be suspicious, and having the foresight to take photographs with his phone. That, coupled with the great work of a Saanich Police bike officer resulted in the identification and arrest of the person(s) believed responsible for the theft of the vehicle.
Staff Sgt. Mashford #105