File: 19-54640, 19-54692

Victoria, BC – One man was arrested while officers are seeking additional witnesses and warning the public after two “snatch and dash” cellular phone thefts in sales arranged through Facebook Marketplace yesterday.


Patrol officers were called to the 2200-block of Quadra Street just after 1:30 p.m. yesterday for a report of a robbery in progress. Investigating officers discovered that the victim had arranged to sell a used iPhone 10 through Facebook Marketplace. The male suspect took the victim’s used phone out the case under the pretense of examining it for sale and then abruptly fled. The suspect is described as a black man wearing a black windbreaker, red pants and carrying a beige backpack. The victim was uninjured. Officers did not locate the suspect despite searching the area. This file remains under investigation.


Patrol officers were called to the 1600-block of Hillside Avenue just after 6:30 p.m. for a report of a theft and foot chase. When officers arrived they discovered a male suspect being restrained for officers by the intended victim’s family. The investigation revealed that the suspect had arranged to meet the victim to purchase her used cellular phone in the food court area. When handed the phone under the pretense for examining it for sale, the male suspect abruptly fled. He was pursued by members of the intended victim’s family, who were able to capture and restrain him. He was taken into custody by Patrol officers. The suspect male, and the method by which the attempted theft occurred, closely resemble the “snatch and dash” theft from earlier in the day. The suspect was released pending a later court date. This file also remains under investigation.

Thefts of this type are rare. There are several things you can do to stay safe when arranging to meet someone for a private sale of a valuable item like a used cellular phone:

  • Arrange to meet the person in a public place. Our lobby at 850 Caledonia Avenue is open and available as an exchange location 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • If the other party won’t meet you in a public location or our lobby, don’t meet them.
  • Bring friends or family members with you when arranging the exchange.
  • Where possible, use more than one method to communicate with the person you are selling to or buying from.

Officers are asking for additional witnesses to come forward. If you witnessed what happened or have any information that would help our investigation, please contact 250-995-7654, or call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-22-8477.

The arrested man is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.