The Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island has been hit by theft once again
Surveillance cameras at its Chase River location captured a thief, wearing a red hat, earlier this week, spotted going under one of the Club’s passenger vans.
“A guy came by, he was actually underneath our vehicles and the CCTV caught him removing the catalytic converter and then he disappeared. He was gone in five minutes,” said BGCCVI Executive Director Karen Love.
She says the Club has insurance but it still costs them about $500 every time it happens and it’s happened five times now.
A year ago, CHEK News reported on the same thing after a catalytic converter was cut off a van in the same place and, prior to that, the windows of a school bus it owns were shot at its Beban Park location.
“That’s money we could put towards, you know a food budget for kids, towards their summer camp, towards supporting parents so even though it’s not the crime of the century it’s a huge impact on a not-for-profit,” added Love.
The outcome this time is a little different because the suspect, that man in the red hat got careless about 20 minutes later.
“So the staff come into the office to open up for the families and to check the vehicles and lo and behold they saw a guy riding by on a bike with the same red hat as the thief and he actually had a catalytic converter under his arm on his bike,” said Love. “So our trusty staff got in their cars, put their temporary police hats on and decided to chase him and they called the RCMP to let them know where they were.”
Police located the suspect within a few minutes but it turns out there was a warrant out for his arrest and he did not go quietly.
“We’re on the road, we were getting there as quick as we can,” said Nanaimo RCMP Constable Gary O’Brien. “We had a bit of a tussle with him and he was arrested. We found the converter and he’s facing a number of charges. He had warrants out of Vancouver.”
O’Brien says thefts like this are a big problem across North America and that some people are taking to flattening their tires so thieves can’t get under the vehicles or having secure parking, neither of which is an option for this club that is busy and runs its buses almost every day.