Two attempted violent carjackings—including one that involved a father and daughter—were halted Sunday night thanks to the actions of bystanders in Saanich.
At approximately 8:30 p.m., a 29-year-old man approached several vehicles that were filling up on gas at the Esso on Douglas Street and Tolmie Avenue. Once one driver had finished filling up his car—a black sedan that is possibly a Toyota—the man opened up the driver’s door and tried to force his way in.
Police say that several witnesses came to the driver’s aid, causing the suspect to flee on a bicycle.
Just moments later, in the adjacent Tim Horton’s parking lot, the man made his way to a Honda Civic where a father and daughter were sitting and opened the driver’s door in an attempt to force his way in.
Police say that the suspect “began assaulting” the father, who lost control of his car and backed it into a parked tow truck before bumping the car into drive and striking 3 other parked vehicles. The car then drove over a garden bed, hit a tree, and then hit a wall, where it stopped.
— Saanich Police (@SaanichPolice) March 4, 2019
Several witnesses then hurried to help and were able to restrain the suspect until police arrived. One source credits two members of Just In Time Towing, who were in the parked tow truck when it was struck, with rescuing the father and daughter.
Both family members were transported to hospital to be assessed and treated for “relatively minor” injuries.
The suspect was arrested for 2 counts of robbery and is set to appear before the court today.
“Although we never want people to put themselves in harms way, the courageous
actions of everyone who intervened during this dynamic and dangerous situation,
likely prevented further injury and damage as a result of this man’s actions,” said
Sgt. Julie Fast, Saanich Police, in a release.
“Our investigation into this is ongoing and we are asking anyone with information
to call us. In particular, we have not identified nor spoken to the first attempted
carjacking victim, the driver of the black sedan from the Esso gas station.”
Anyone who has information on the two incidents is asked to call Saanich Police at 250-475-4321.