A man accused of luring victims with promises of used video game consoles, only to rob them of their hard-earned cash at gunpoint, has been arrested, according to Victoria Police.
Last week, a series of armed robberies took place in Victoria and Langford in which a suspect advertised used game consoles, including a PlayStation 5, on the resale website Used Victoria for prices “significantly” lower than the going rate.
Buyers hoping to snag the rare system met up to complete the purchase only to be robbed of their money at gunpoint.
In one of the robberies in James Bay on Oct. 27, a victim said he spoke with the scammer for “several minutes” until he produced a handgun, pointing it at them and demanding the money they brought for the purchase.
A day later, West Shore RCMP said it was investigating a similar case in the 1200-block of Goldstream Avenue.
Police have not released details about how they tracked down and arrested the man, but said during a subsequent search they recovered several “realistic” replica firearms.
They say the man is suspected in four recent armed robberies that, while they did not result in injuries, left victims “deeply shaken.”
The suspect remains in custody as police continue to investigate the series of armed robberies.
Investigators are now asking anyone who may have had interactions with the suspect — described as a white man in his 20s, standing 5’8″ with a slim build and short hair — to contact them at 250-995-7654 extension 1.
Authorities say UsedVictoria has been “responsive” to the crimes and is working to keep users safe. The company recommends meeting sellers and buyers in well-lit public places with people around and that have surveillance cameras installed nearby, such as a shopping centre or city hall.
It is also recommend to bring along a friend or family member, and tell them to call 911 if something does go wrong.