WATCH: Oak Bay Police are hunting for a suspect who walked into a senior’s apartment then stole her cash, passport and purse. And police say, thanks to social media, the search for the thief may be a quick one. Mary Griffin reports.
One hundred and seventy-five seniors call Oak Bay’s Marrion Village home, ranging in age from 55 years and up. And they say it’s safe, including resident Christiane Appleton, who has lived there for a decade.
“Ten years, and honestly, I feel it’s very safe,” Appleton said.
The building’s doors are accessible only with a key fob. But on Friday afternoon, at 5:30 p.m., a brazen robbery took place. It was captured by surveillance video entering the building. Oak Bay Police Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties said a woman entered the unlocked apartment of one of the residents.
“The woman proceeded to steal money, a passport, and a purse. And the victim woke up. And confronted the woman who then fled,” Bernoties said.
The incident is unsettling and upsetting for the elderly resident who was asleep at the time of the break-in, according to Marrion Village Administrator Craig Reed.
“She was certainly shaken up a little bit. She’s been a resident here, probably for 15 or 20 years. But yeah, going through something like that is really tough,” Reed said.
Oak Bay police released the suspect’s photo in a tweet this morning. Within minutes they had a lead, a woman known to police. Bernoties believes the quick response is due to the nature of the crime.
Why do we love social media? We've already got a good tip on the identity of our suspect! 👍Please keep them coming! To the suspect: You can drop by our office today if you like or just give us a shout & we'll come and getcha'! 😉 See ya' soon! https://t.co/KQRrnDQIHi
— Oak Bay Police (@OakBayPolice) March 12, 2019
“This is clearly victimizing our most vulnerable in society. It’s a shameful offence and so we take it very seriously. And we’re really pleased with the public’s response,” Bernoties said.
Police say this type of incident is rare at Marrion Village, but it’s left a mark with some residents, including Louise McKellar.
“Don’t feel safe anymore….because you have to lock your doors,” McKellar said.
Police are confident of an arrest and multiple charges against the suspect.