Police north of Nanaimo are asking the public for help in identifying a man suspected of robbing a gas station in the village of French Creek earlier this week, while Saanich police say they have a suspect in an incident similar – but unrelated – in detention.
The incident happened shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday, December 2, at a Shell gas station in the Island Highway West block, according to a press release from the Oceanside RCMP.
Police said a masked man “walked into the store, pulled out a knife and demanded money from the clerk.”
The suspect fled on foot, but officers were unable to locate him, despite the help of a police dog and forensic services.
No one was injured in the incident, but police said the clerk was “understandably shaken” by the theft.
Police released a surveillance image of the suspect, describing him as a white man wearing blue jeans, a light gray Carhartt hoodie with the brand name on the left sleeve, “white runners with two dark stripes on each side and a dark blue hood with white graphics. “
He is around 5’11 “and wore a” light blue and dark blue “Nike bag on his back, police said.
Oceanside RCMP are asking anyone who recognizes the suspect or has dash cam video of the area at the time the theft took place to contact them at 250-248-6111 and quote the number File 2021-12702.
NO EVIDENCE OF RELATIONSHIP TO SAANICH INCIDENT, POLICE SAYS
The French Creek incident has some similarities to another gas station heist that took place in Saanich the next day.
According to a press release from the Saanich Police Department, a man entered the store on the corner of Burnside Road West and Harriet Road around 3 p.m. Friday. He took out a knife and asked the cashier for money.
Saanich police said he left with “an undisclosed amount of money” and was seen driving away in a red Hyundai Kona on Burnside Road West.
Police said the Hyundai was reported stolen in Nanaimo earlier today and asked the public to watch the vehicle and the suspect.
Saanich police confirmed to CTV News on Saturday that the vehicle and the suspect were arrested, and said there does not appear to be a link to the French Creek robbery.
Likewise, Oceanside RCMP said that although their investigation is in its early stages, they have no information linking Saanich’s theft to their case.