A would-be gas thief was caught in the act by an off-duty Mountie as he allegedly tried to siphon fuel from a vehicle belonging to a Boys and Girls Club in Nanaimo.
The incident occurred around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, in the parking lot of the non-profit at 1400 Cranberry Ave., Nanaimo RCMP said in a media release.
A Mountie who drives the route every day habitually glanced at the property as he drove by when he spotted the suspect crouching behind a vehicle, said police. That’s when he noticed the hose coming out of the gas tank of one of the club’s vehicles.
As the Mountie pulled into the lot, the suspect, a 51-year-old man, tried to escape and the off-duty officer gave chase, according to police. When he caught up, a brief struggle ensued ending with the officer detaining the suspect for theft.
The non-profit children’s organization has been hit by theft before, said R/Const. Gary O’Brien. Last year, a thief was similarly caught red-handed attempting to steal a catalytic converter from one of the club’s vehicles.
“Hopefully this arrest will set the tone amongst other criminals that their property is not for the taking, and is meant for the kids they support,” said O’Brien.
The man was taken into custody and later released on an order to appear in court on Jan. 31 for a charge of theft under $5,000.