Man recounts chasing carjacking suspect who stole wallet out of his home (2024)

Victoria police have said the same suspect was arrested in connection with two carjackings last Sunday and Monday.

A Victoria man who had his wallet stolen from inside his home chased the thief in his socks for two kilometres before the suspect — who had been arrested in connection to two carjackings days earlier — was arrested by police.

“I have never experienced anything like that in my life and hope to not have to ever experience it again,” said Paul Smith, who lives near Royal Jubilee Hospital.

The incident began about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Smith and his wife had just finished making dinner and were eating in the living room.

“We were just enjoying our Tuesday evening, talking, when my wife noticed this individual walking up the path to the front door,” Smith said. “He had a smile on his face.”

At first, Smith thought the man just had the wrong address.

Then he opened the door without knocking and came inside.

“He kept saying, ‘where are the keys, where are the keys, where are the keys,’ ” Smith said.

The man did not look at or acknowledge Smith or his wife when they tried to tell him that he was in the wrong house, Smith said. “It was clear to us almost immediately that we were dealing with either a drug-induced [psychosis] or an individual that is very mentally unstable.”

The man spotted Smith’s wallet on a bookshelf, nabbed it and took flight, Smith said.

Smith immediately gave chase.

The two ran across traffic on Richmond Road, through a parking lot at Royal Jubilee Hospital and onto Fort Street.

The chase then went into a restaurant parking lot where the man flagged down a black car, Smith said.

“I thought, oh, this is a job and this is his accomplice.”

But then the man started wrenching on the door. Smith briefly glimpsed the shocked face of the driver and yelled for him to call 911.

The man took off running again, throwing items out of Smith’s wallet.

Despite his flagging energy, Smith continued his pursuit, yelling to neighbours to call 911.

He nearly lost sight of the man on Oak Bay Avenue, but a couple who had heard his cries pulled up in a car to help. Smith was able to give a description of the man to emergency responders while tracking him in the car.

A few minutes later, five police cruisers streamed past and the man was arrested on Richardson Street.

Smith’s wallet and all of its contents — including about $130 in cash — were recovered.

Smith said he realized he had given chase in his socks only after the adrenaline wore off. He was bedridden the next day, his feet blistered and bleeding.

The swelling had gone down somewhat by Friday, but Smith expected it would be a few more days before he was able to start exercising again.

Smith didn’t think too much about his decision to give chase on Tuesday, saying it was just “instinct.”

It wasn’t until the man attempted to get in the car that Smith realized he might be a danger to others.

The suspect arrested on Tuesday is being held in custody until his next court appearance. Charges include break-and-enter, attempted robbery and attempted theft of a motor vehicle.

Victoria police have said the same suspect was arrested in connection with two carjackings last Sunday and Monday.

Charges in those incidents include one count of attempted theft of a motor vehicle, two counts of robbery, one count of theft of a motor vehicle, one count of failing to stop at the scene of an accident and one count of failing to comply with conditions.

The suspect, who was born in 2001, was not known to police prior to the recent incidents, VicPD said.

The suspect’s next court date at the Port Alberni Law Courts is on May 14.

Smith, who has previously left the door unlocked while he went out for groceries and left his 12-year-old daughter at home, said he feels that his neighbourhood is no longer as safe at it was.

He said his street sees “a fair number” of people who appear to have left hospital before their mental-health issues have been resolved.

“It’s a somewhat common occurrence that we’ll just have people yelling at themselves or something and carrying on conversations [with themselves] while walking up and down the street,” he said.

“Locking your door while you’re at home is just the new reality we’re living with here in Victoria,” he added.


Man recounts chasing carjacking suspect who stole wallet out of his home (2024)


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