‘Aggressive panhandler’ with Canada-wide reputation nabbed by VicPD

Police receive several public complaints about accused's money-begging style

A man described by police as a “chronic downtown panhandler” has been arrested for the third time in as many weeks, this time for mischief and violating a court order.

Investigators responded to reports Monday afternoon that Craig Wilson, 26, was “aggressively panhandling” at Starbucks, at 865 Yates St.

He was charged with mischief after numerous complaints were made to police over the past two weeks about Wilson’s aggressive style of begging.

“He goes right up to people inside businesses and restaurants and demands money,” said Const. Mike Russell, Victoria police spokesperson.

Wilson, of no fixed address, only recently arrived in Victoria.

By allegedly possessing a crack pipe, he was also charged for breaching court-imposed conditions.

On Jan. 31, the accused was also apprehended for trafficking in a controlled substance, followed by a second arrest on Feb. 2, the charges for which have not yet been approved by Crown counsel.

Police say there are outstanding arrest warrants for Wilson from across the country. He is scheduled to make a second appearance at the Victoria Law Courts on Feb. 22.