A 7-Eleven customer is being credited for stopping an attempted robbery in Nanaimo late Friday afternoon.
Nanaimo RCMP say the botched robbery attempt took place at the 7-Eleven located at 506 Fifth Street at roughly 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 20th.
Witnesses told police that a man entered the convenience store while brandishing a gun and wearing a bandana and backpack.
He demanded cash from an employee and placed the firearm, which was later confirmed to be a replica, on the counter.
A customer quickly picked up the gun from the counter and began striking the suspect with it. Once the bystander began to intervene, the suspect fled the convenience store and attempted to run into an awaiting vehicle, dropping his backpack in the process.
“Unbeknownst to the suspect, while he was attempting to rob the 7-Eleven, an unknown male noticed the keys in the ignition of his truck and decided to steal the truck,” said the Nanaimo RCMP.
While this attempted robbery was taking place, a concerned bystander saw a man enter a truck and attempt to steal it.
The bystander yelled at the attempted vehicle thief to stop, prompting the driver to exit the vehicle and flee the scene on foot, dropping the truck keys onto the ground in the process.
Moments later, the 7-Eleven suspect ran to his truck, realized that the keys were no longer in the ignition, and he took off on foot as well.
Numerous Nanaimo RCMP officers then arrived at the scene, including a K9 unit, and located the 7-Eleven suspect roughly 30 minutes later only a few blocks away.
The suspect allegedly discarded a number of items while he was trying to flee, which were later retrieved by officers.
The suspect was identified as 29-year-old Alexandre Babin, of no fixed address, and has been released from police custody on conditions. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 2nd.
“Investigators spoke with a number of witnesses, however, there are several that they have been unable to speak with, “said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
Police released a surveillance photo of one of the witnesses they’re wanting to speak to.
Anyone who recognizes the witness is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file #2020-10787.