RCMP arrested a man in north Nanaimo who wound up empty-handed after allegedly failing at shoplifting, bank robbery and robbery at ATM machine. (File photo)

RCMP arrested a man in north Nanaimo who wound up empty-handed after allegedly failing at shoplifting, bank robbery and robbery at ATM machine. (File photo)

Man arrested in Nanaimo after failed attempts at bank robbery, ATM mugging, shoplifting

RCMP cuff suspect in office-supply store after ‘short-lived crime spree’

A suspect failed at attempts to rob a credit union and then mug a senior on the way out, and was promptly arrested.

A 34-year-old man is in custody after a botched crime spree yesterday, according to a Nanaimo RCMP press release. The incidents occurred at about 2:20 p.m. Tuesday, May 11, in the area of Woodgrove Centre and Metral Plaza along Aulds Road.

Police were initially called to a report of shoplifting from Sport Chek. In that incident, the accused allegedly stole clothing and was last seen running from the store into the mall parking lot with the items. In the parking lot, he was seen using a rock to try to remove security tags from the stolen clothes, but “wasn’t successful in doing so.”

RCMP say the suspect then “decided upon robbing the nearest bank,” Coast Capital Savings credit union across the street, and allegedly demanded money from a clerk, “but at the last second he couldn’t go through with it and left empty-handed.” Before exiting the credit union, he allegedly tried to take money from a senior using the ATM, but “the gentleman had no intentions of handing over his cash, so, once again, the suspect left empty-handed.” Police say no weapon was produced in either incident, but threats were made.

The suspect was arrested inside the nearby Staples store moments later.

“Mere seconds after entering the business, responding Mounties had him in handcuffs and under arrest for his short-lived crime spree,” the press release noted.

Jim Pearce, 75, was the person using the ATM at the time of the crimes, and said he overheard the suspect talking about needing the money to buy drugs for someone and also feed his family.

Pearce alleged that he was assaulted as the suspect was being escorted out of the building by the credit union’s branch manager and tellers.

“I turned around and I had my wallet in my left hand and $300 cash in my right hand, I was just putting it in the wallet, and all of a sudden I’m face-to-face with this guy…” Pearce said. “I’m trying to process this and then, all of a sudden with no warning, bang, he slams his hand down and hits my wrist and grabs the money.”

Pearce reacted out of instinct and grabbed his money back out of the suspect’s hand.

“I said, ‘stop’ and he looks at me and I said ‘you get out of here, right now. Go.’”

Pearce said he was traumatized by the incident and couldn’t sleep all night because he kept thinking about it.

He initially turned down a suggestion to be checked out at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, but went the following day to have his wrist X-rayed because it had become quite painful from the blow. He said his wrist was bruised but not broken.

William Joseph Lesieur was expected to appear in provincial court Wednesday, May 12, to face two counts of robbery and one count of theft under $5,000.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo RCMP recover stolen excavator, return it to its Comox Valley owner

READ ALSO: Gold Silver Guy owner finds Qualicum shop in shambles after break-in and theft

READ ALSO: Culprit caught on camera stealing statue from front porch in north Nanaimo



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

crimeRCMP Briefs

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read