Woman threatened Victoria taxi driver with machete before stealing cab: police

Woman threatened Victoria taxi driver with machete before stealing cab: police
VicPD file photo.

Victoria police say charges have been sworn against a woman who is alleged to have stolen a taxi in the city’s downtown while wielding a machete on Friday, May 31, before leading officers on a cross-jurisdictional journey to arrest her.

Police received the report just before 11:30 p.m., when a taxi driver in the 500 block of Johnson Street said a woman, since identified by investigators as Samantha McDonald, had threatened them with a machete before stealing their cab.

“Investigators learned that McDonald hailed the taxi and requested a ride to several locations,” said VicPD in a news release Tuesday.

“When the driver asked the suspect to pay the fare, she then threatened the driver with a machete and drove off with the taxi, leaving the driver on the sidewalk.”

According to police, officers from three departments — Victoria, Saanich, and West Shore — were involved in stopping the carjacker after she was spotted leaving B.C.’s capital and driving towards Saanich and then the West Shore.

“VicPD officers were able to monitor the stolen vehicle’s location as it headed towards Saanich,” said police.

“VicPD officers liaised with Saanich Police who attempted to pull over the taxi; however, McDonald drove away. Saanich Police officers did not pursue the taxi due to the risk a high-speed chase could have to the public.”

Instead, officers continued to monitor the stolen taxi as it travelled to the West Shore, where Mounties were advised and “successfully brought the stolen vehicle to a stop using a spike belt,” added police in the release.

Tracking cab was a ‘collective effort,’ says VicPD

Jason Laidman, VicPD’s deputy chief, says such incidents “threaten our collective sense of security, but the citizens of our communities should feel confident that their police departments are working together to keep them safe.”

Police say they took McDonald into custody, where she remains pending a future court date. She’s facing one count of robbery and one count of possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose.

VicPD says her arrest was a “collaborative effort” between its department, Saanich Police and West Shore RCMP. 

Laidman added, “I’m proud of the quick response and ongoing coordination from our officers in using all the resources available to them to maintain control of the situation and ensure this suspect was taken into custody.”

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The release states that VicPD is investigating the robbery aspect of this incident, while Saanich Police and Westshore RCMP are handling the driving-related aspects.

Insp. Stephen Rose, officer in charge of operations at West Shore RCMP, adds that it’s a “great example of how our police agencies shared critical information and worked together efficiently.”

He says Mounties were able to stop McDonald and take her into custody, “thereby preventing (her) from inflicting further harm to our communities.”

VicPD says no further details about the investigation can be shared at this time as the matter is now before the courts.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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