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Resident swindled out of cash in Saanich parking lot deal

Saanich police issue warning after suspects sell home theatre equipment from rental van
SPD warns residents not to buy electronics from non-reputable sources or stores. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Saanich police are reminding residents that if a deal seems too good to be true – then it probably is.

Two suspects approached an individual on June 23 in a parking lot in the 3900-block of Shelbourne Street and asked if this person wanted to purchase a home theatre projection unit – equipped with a projector, speakers and a theatre screen.

The buyer paid cash when the negotiations were complete and before opening the contents, everything appeared to be in its original condition, according to the Saanich Police Department.

It wasn’t until the buyer took these items home that it was discovered all pieces were old and defective. While the sale of the items was not criminal, the false claims constitute fraud and could result in a criminal charge.

The suspects operated out of a van that was tracked back to a rental company from the Lower Mainland.

SPD encourages residents to purchase electronics from reputable stores. They also said cash deals are a way to avoid sales tax and often signal counterfeit dealings.

To report suspicious sellers, call the department’s non-emergency line at 250-475-4321.

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