Alert neighbors credited with arrest, conviction

People working to safeguard their neighbors made the difference, say police

Alert neighbours are being praised by police after a Port Alberni youth pleaded guilty to one count of theft over $500 and one count of possession of stolen property in B.C. Provincial Court in Nanaimo.

Oceanside RCMP Corporal Jesse Foreman said police received a report of a stolen vehicle in Qualicum Beach on Jan. 21.

“A neighbor had witnessed someone taking the minivan and immediately called the car owner as they thought something was suspicious,” he said. “A description was sent to officers on patrol and moments later one of those officers spotted the white minvan in Parksville.”

The driver sped away from police and abandoned the vehicle. However, his evasive actions didn’t suffice to make a getaway and he was apprehended quickly after police flooded the area and a police dog was called in and followed the suspect’s scent directly back to the abandoned vehicle.

As a result, 19-year-old Port Alberni resident Fabon Robert was sentenced to 85 days in jail, with probation to follow.

“This arrest was made possible by the timeliness of the report and is a prime example of what neighbours can do for one another,” Foreman said. “If the neighbors did not have an established rapport and communication line between each other, this crime may have never been solved.”