Vancouver Police are commending the bravery of two food delivery workers who were stabbed when they intervened in an attempted robbery stemming from a Facebook Marketplace sale.
VPD Sgt. Steve Addison says a 21-year-old suspect is in custody after being subdued by bystanders when he tried to rob the seller in the transaction.
Addison says the incident happened at around 7:40 p.m. Tuesday in the Olympic Village neighbourhood, when the 36-year-old seller was meeting a buyer for an in-person exchange.
The transaction turned violent when the buyer attacked the seller with pepper spray and tried to flee with the item.
Addison says the food-delivery workers and others gave chase and subdued the suspect who was trying to escape in a taxi.
He says one delivery worker was stabbed in the hand and the other in the shoulder, and both are recovering after being treated in hospital.
“While we never want people to put themselves in harm’s way, we appreciate the quick thinking of these Good Samaritans,” Addison said in a news release.
He said police commended “these brave citizens” and recognized the risks they took to help a stranger.
“Their selfless actions stopped the suspect from getting away with the crime and may have prevented others from falling victim.”
Police also praised other bystanders who called police and remained at the scene to speak with investigators.
Addison said the VPD expected to bring several charges against the suspect, who is awaiting a court appearance.
Vancouver Police warned residents earlier this month to use caution when completing online transactions in person due to a rise in such incidents.
In a message on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, the VPD said a 17-year-old suspect was arrested on Dec. 2 after robbing a man during another Facebook Marketplace transaction near the Joyce-Collingwood SkyTrain station.
Police have set up a safe-exchange location with video surveillance outside its headquarters on Cambie Street, and Addison said people completing Facebook or Craigslist transactions were encouraged to use the site to ensure their safety.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2023.