Date: Monday, October 31, 2022
Files: VicPD 22-41171, WSRCMP – 2022-18594
Victoria, BC – VicPD officers have arrested a suspect in a series of armed robberies targeting potential buyers of used video game consoles.
Members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) arrested a man in a series of armed robberies late on Friday, October 28th. Major Crime Unit (MCU) detectives had been working to identify and locate a suspect after a series of incidents in which potential buyers, who contacted a Used Victoria “seller” of used video game consoles, were instead robbed at gunpoint when they met to complete the purchase. The suspect lured his potential victims through a series of ads placed on the Used Victoria website, which advertised a used PlayStation5 and other recently released video game consoles for sale for prices significantly below the going rate.
During the arrest and subsequent search, detectives located several realistic replica firearms, essentially indistinguishable from functional firearms.
The man arrested is a suspect in four armed robberies, including one from West Shore RCMP’s area of responsibility. While no one was physically injured in these armed robberies, the victims were left deeply shaken.
During the course of the investigation, detectives learned that several people may have had interactions with the suspect. As such, investigators believe that there may be additional people who have information who have yet to speak with officers.
This investigation remains active and ongoing. The suspect remains in custody.
If you have information about a similar incident, please call the VicPD Report Desk at (250) 995-7654, extension 1.
The Used Victoria team have been responsive to the robberies and have worked to help keep everyone safe. While the majority of online-facilitated used goods transactions occur without incident, there are key things that you can do to help protect yourself:
- Meet sellers and buyers in brightly lit, public places with people around, that are likely to have surveillance cameras, like a shopping mall, or municipal building;
- Bring a friend or family member with you;
- If something does go wrong, get yourself to a safe place, and call 911.
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