Suspect who allegedly stole custom wheelchair in Saanich arrested

Suspect who allegedly stole custom wheelchair in Saanich arrested
File photo
Saanich police say a man who allegedly stole a custom aquatic wheelchair has been arrested.

Police say a suspect who allegedly stole a custom aquatic wheelchair from Gordon Head Recreation on Oct. 17 has been arrested and the chair has been recovered.

The wheelchair, which belongs to the Gordon Head Recreation Centre as part of their inclusive pool program, is valued at $2,000 and is designed specifically for submersion in pools.

A man could be seen in a surveillance video walking into the recreation centre, then leaving just a short time later in the wheelchair. He is then seen loading the chair into a car before a woman drives him away.

Police said they received tips on Wednesday regarding the suspect and potential location of the wheelchair. One caller believed the wheelchair was for sale on the Internet, linked to a business in Victoria.

On Wednesday afternoon, Saanich officers went to a pawn shop in Victoria and found the wheelchair. Officers then located and arrested the man who allegedly stole the wheelchair. Saanich police said the pawn shop was co-operative with police in the investigation.

A 51-year-old Central Saanich man is facing criminal charges relating to the theft of the wheelchair. Police are recommending one count of theft under $5,000. The woman seen driving the car has been identified as well and police are determining whether charges are warranted in relation to the incident.

Police said the wheelchair will be returned back to the Gordon Head Recreation Centre so users can use it.

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