With the help of the public, Saanich Police have recovered a specialized aquatic wheelchair that was stolen from Gordon Head Recreation Centre on Oct. 17.
On Wednesday, police released surveillance footage in an effort to help identify the suspect. The footage showed what appeared to be a couple involved in the theft, with a man seen walking into the recreation centre and then exiting using the wheelchair. Once outside, the man stood up out of the wheelchair and loaded it into the rear seat of a Toyota four-door sedan. They then entered the vehicle and drove away.
Police said they received tips relating to the suspect as well as the potential location of the wheelchair.
“Callers were aware of the theft from viewing social media websites,” Saanich Police said. “One caller believed the wheelchair was listed for sale on the Internet, linked to a business in the City of Victoria.”
Late Wednesday afternoon, Saanich Police detectives attended a pawn shop in Victoria and confirmed the stolen wheelchair was at the store. Detectives where then able to locate and arrest the individual believed to be responsible for the theft.
“The pawn shop was cooperative with police in this investigation,” police said.
The wheelchair is valued at $2,000 and is specially designed for water submission. It is part of the recreation centre’s pool equipment that allows patrons to enjoy the pool.
A 51-year-old Central Saanich resident was arrested and transported to Saanich Police. He is currently facing criminal charges relating to the theft of the wheelchair which will be returned shortly to the recreation centre pool so users can have access to it.
One count of Theft Under $5,000 will be recommended to Crown Counsel.