The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a man who stole three backpacks from a local daycare.
At approximately 10:45 am on Tuesday, November 24, an unknown man on a bicycle peddled up to the fence of a daycare on Wildlife Place, where few backpacks were hanging outside due to COVID-19 guidelines.
The man walked over to the backpacks, grabbed three of them and rode away on a yellow mountain bike. Police attended and patrolled the area but could not locate the suspect.
According to the RCMP, two of the three missing backpacks were found in the marsh adjacent to the Nanaimo Ice Centre an hour later. Their contents, consisting of a change of clothes, were found strewn about next to the backpacks.
A dark blue backpack, however, was not found and police suspect it might have been kept by the suspect as it was somewhat larger.
It was decided best not to tell the children where their backpacks had gone.
“The little ones were not told about the theft but when the parents were notified they had a range of emotions, from anger, disgust to shock,” Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
As soon as the owner of the Nanaimo daycare saw that that the backpacks were missing, she called the police and reviewed her security system, where the entire event was captured on camera (featured below).
The owner of the daycare no longer hangs the backpacks on the fence, say police.
The suspect is believed to be a male in his late teens to early ’20s. He was wearing a “quite noticeable hoodie” with a geometric pattern.
If anyone has information on the identity of this person, you are asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-40114.