Victoria police said an alleged kidnapping attempt and reported robbery attempt that took place in downtown Victoria earlier this week are no longer believed to be connected.
On Dec. 29, VicPD received a report of an attempted robbery at the intersection of Blanshard and Johnson Streets. Police said a man approached a woman from behind, grabbed her and tried to get her to go with him. The woman was able to get away without physical injury.
Later that day just after 11 a.m., officers were called to Bastion Square for a report of an attempted kidnapping. The female victim reported that she was going back to her vehicle in the area when an unknown man approached her from behind, grabbed her, brandished a knife and told her she needed to go with him. The woman was able to break free of the man and fled. Officers were unable to locate the suspect and the woman was not physically injured.
An initial statement from VicPD said the two incidents were potentially connected, but police said additional investigation now indicates the incidents are not linked and are believed to not be connected.
Further investigation into the Bastion Square incident has also reduced the threat to the public. Police said while it was initially investigated as an attempted kidnapping, “developments have led investigators to believe the suspect may be suffering from mental health and/or substance abuse concerns which lead to his actions.”
Police said many tips have come forward regarding possible suspects and that investigators are asking that the public remain vigilant. VicPD major crime detectives are continuing to investigate the incident.
VicPD said investigators are also aware of recent posts on social media that have identified potential suspects and describe alleged incidents. Police said some of the alleged incidents were posted to social media before or instead of being reported to police.
Investigators continue to ask those with information about a potential suspect to call the Victoria Police non-emergency line at 250-995-7654 or Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
“While well-intentioned, posting images of individuals who resemble suspect descriptions endangers investigations and, more importantly, puts potentially innocent people at risk of harm,” police said.
Investigations into both incidents continue.