Suspected Victoria carjacker arrested for 3rd time in 3 days for break-in

Suspected Victoria carjacker arrested for 3rd time in 3 days for break-in
The Tesla that was stolen in a carjacking on April 22, 2024

The man suspected of a series of attempted carjackings and car crashes in Victoria has now been arrested again for a break-and-enter, facing a total of nine charges over three days.

Victoria Police say Seth Packer was arrested again on Tuesday evening after he allegedly broke into a home in the North Jubilee area and stole a wallet.

“The Victoria Police Department have been dealing with the same individual on three days consecutively,” said VicPD Chief Del Manak in an interview with CHEK News.

Packer was previously arrested on April 22 after he allegedly stole Asha Makwana’s Tesla along Johnson Street, before crashing the vehicle twice and getting caught near Cook and Finlayson streets.

“As I’m walking to the driver’s side he opened my car door and then I tried to stop him, so I was like, ‘Hey what are you doing? Get out!’ and he just threw me,” Makwana told CHEK News on April 22.

READ PREVIOUS: ‘I can’t believe this happened’: Woman’s vehicle ‘totalled’ after carjacker steals, crashes car 

Packer was also arrested one day earlier, on April 21, after VicPD said he tried to steal another vehicle on Shelbourne Street, but that driver managed to remove him from the vehicle.

Packer made his court appearance for these two incidents on the afternoon of April 23, and was released afterward on conditions.

Speaking with CHEK News on Wednesday, Makwana says she was shocked to learn that Packer was released the day after her car was stolen.

“A cop looked at me dead in the eye and said, ‘Don’t worry, he’s going to be in jail for a long time.’ I really believed that, I had no idea that he’d be getting released again,” said Makwana.

Third arrest in three consecutive days

The B.C. Prosecution Service (BCPS) says Packer had “very strict bail conditions, including house arrest” after his court appearance on Tuesday.

“The accused was only allowed to be outside of his residence between noon and 2 p.m. or for very specific reasons, such as attending court,” said Ann Seymour, acting communications counsel with the BCPS in an emailed statement Wednesday.

But just hours after his court appearance, around 7:30 p.m. on April 23, VicPD received a call for a break-and-enter in the North Jubilee area and identified Packer as the suspect. According to police, the homeowner followed Packer after he stole a wallet from inside the home.

While he was trying to flee, VicPD says Packer tried to steal another car in the 1800-block of Fort Street but the driver was able to prevent him from entering.

Packer was then arrested in the 1900-block of Richardson Street on Tuesday night.

“This individual was not known to the police department [prior to the first incident], it’s surprising three days in a row. It’s extremely concerning and it’s impacting our sense of safety,” said Manak.

Packer now faces a total of nine charges from all three incidents:

  • Two counts of Attempted Theft of Motor Vehicle
  • Three counts of Attempted Robbery
  • One count of Theft of Motor Vehicle
  • One count of Break-and-Enter
  • One count of Failing to Stop at the Scene
  • One count of Failing to Comply with Conditions (in relation to the April 21 and April 22 incidents)

VicPD says Packer is being held in custody until his next court appearance on May 14.

“It’s just unfortunate that on the second occasion when he came to court, knowing what he had done on the day before, that he was released,” said Manak.

“It impacts the public’s confidence in the criminal justice system when incidents like this happen,” he added.

‘If that doesn’t describe catch-and-release, I have no idea what does’ 

In a heated question period at the B.C. legislature Wednesday afternoon, Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond questioned the premier’s so called catch-and-release policy.

“If that doesn’t describe catch-and-release, I have no idea what does,” shouted Bond after addressing Packer’s recent alleged crimes.

“When will this premier do the right thing? Admit that his soft-on-crime policies are causing chaos across British Columbia,” she said.

Premier David Eby was not present in question period.

B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth responded to Bond, saying his party is working with the federal government.

“This side of the House is going to continue to make sure that we get changes made to the Criminal Code of Canada, that expands the ability to stop bail from individuals who engage in violent acts,” said Farnworth.

While continuing to address Bond’s remarks, Farnworth was interrupted, causing the Speaker of the House to call on members to allow the minister to finish his remarks.

“We will ensure the police have the tools and resources they need to do their job every single day, which they do with remarkable effectiveness,” said Farnworth.

With files from CHEK’s Kori Sidaway

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