One man is in custody following an early morning marine pursuit in the Gorge Waterway on Tuesday.
Shortly after 3 a.m., January 19th, police were called to the waters off the 400-block of Swift Street after a man stole a Harbour Ferry water taxi from the dock and was travelling up the Gorge Waterway.
When VicPD officers arrived on scene, the suspect in the stolen water taxi changed direction toward the Inner Harbour in an attempt to flee the area.
“With the assistance of a nearby Harbour Ferry supervisor of maintenance, officers boarded a separate boat and pursued the stolen Harbour Ferry water taxi,” VicPD said in a media release.
“In addition, the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Cape St. James attended, took VicPD officers on board, and worked to resolve the incident,” the release read.
VicPD officers on the boat with the Harbour Ferry staff member were able to close the distance with the stolen harbour ferry.
According to VicPD, officers convinced the suspect to surrender and the stolen vessel was towed to a dock in the 900-block of Wharf Street where the suspect was arrested without further incident.
One witness was working nearby and was able to watch most of the pursuit. Shelley Denise Beier told Victoria Buzz she saw the boat coming into the harbour at high speed, its horn blowing repeatedly at the same time. “It took about 1 1/2 hours, then quiet,” Beier said of the marine pursuit.
The man was transported to cells at VicPD and is facing recommended charges of theft over $5,000.
The Victoria Harbour water taxi service which has been hit hard by COVID-19 is set to resume service in the coming months.