UPDATE: Homeowner confronts potential car thief gets hit with bear spray

Oak Bay and Saanich police follow suspect's trail

In a brief, but violent encounter early Wednesday morning (Nov. 28), a Saanich resident was roused from his Watson Street home at about 2:30 a.m. when he heard his car alarm blaring. He ran outside where he confronted a man he’d spotted trying to break into the vehicle. After a brief struggle,the homeowner returned to his house and retrieved pepper spray. He returned to the street and again confronted the would-be thief, only to have his own spray turned against him. The perpetrator then fled the scene.

Police were called and the Oak Bay police attended, along with the canine unit. Although the police dogs followed the scent of the assailant for some time, they were unable to locate the man.

Later in the day, Victoria Police detained a man at Oak Bay Avenue and Fort Street, believing that he matched the description of the assailant. The 42-year-old man is known to the police and has a long history of property crimes.

The police were unable to confirm the man in custody was the assailant and he was questioned and released. He remains a person of interest in the case

The suspect was described as a white man in his mid-40s.

The Watson St. resident was taken to hospital where he received treatment for the bear spray, and was later released.

Police urge residents to avoid direct physical confrontation with would-be thieves. Always call 911 to report a crime in progress.