The Nanaimo RCMP says that a 30-year-old prolific offender is facing multiple criminal charges after he was caught red-handed stealing a catalytic converter from a van.
According to police, the van belonged to the BGC, formerly known as the Nanaimo Boys and Girls Club.
Police say that they received a report from the BGC — located on Cranberry Ave — that a catalytic converter had been sawed off one of their vans.
Without the catalytic converter, authorities say that the vehicle becomes useless for transporting children, staff, and anyone else that may be joining the bus.
As police launched their investigation, officers found that their video surveillance system managed to capture the image of an alleged thief, leading to the man’s arrest, just before 10:30 am on Friday August 20, 2021, on Extension Road near Country Hills.
“As employees were collectively feeling sorry for themselves and the kids, their Manager, Linda Janes, just happened to be looking out toward the roadway and what did she see, but a man riding a bike, who just happened to be carrying a catalytic converter,” reads a statement from Janes. She also noted that the man looked strikingly similar to the suspect in the theft video.
Based on updates they and nearby neighbours provided, officers were able to respond quickly and located the suspect and arrested him with the stolen item.
Later that day, Janes took their van to a nearby muffler shop and showed a technician the catalytic converter. Within minutes he was able to say that the item seized had been removed from the van that he was examining.
This theft not only put the safety of the children at risk but forced the cancellation of several outings, and cost the BGC around $500 to replace the catalytic converter. What a shame, said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
The 30-year-old male faces charges for Possession of Stolen Property, Theft under $5000, Obstruction and Breach of probation. He was released from custody while police investigate this and other criminal matters involving him.