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Assault case in Nanaimo solved

Police are crediting a Crime Stoppers re-enactment with helping identify a suspect in the beating and robbery of a woman in a Nanaimo alley last summer.

Christopher Douglas Bartos, 19, appeared in Nanaimo provincial court Dec. 20 where he was handed a nine-month sentence for assaulting and robbing a 23-year-old-woman Aug. 5.

The victim was walking to work about 8:30 a.m. in an alley between Ashlar and Howard avenues when Bartos allegedly approached and asked for a cigarette.

As she was rolling a cigarette for him, Bartos hit her in the head with a hard object and kicked her repeatedly once she was on the ground before he grabbed her tobacco and ran off.

Police initially had no suspect for the crime, but investigators got a break when Bartos turned himself in to Nanaimo RCMP Aug. 15 over an unrelated Canada-wide warrant for breaching his parole.

While in Edmonton, Alberta, in 2010, Bartos was convicted of assault with a weapon, escaping lawful custody and robbery. He was paroled in early 2011, but breached parole by coming to Nanaimo instead of staying at a halfway house in Edmonton.

Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said Bartos's name came up early in the investigation, but police had insufficient grounds to arrest him for the robbery.

Police followed up with a Shaw TV Crime Stoppers re-enactment which was broadcast in September.

"It's because of the media exposure and the Crime Stoppers re-enactment that further information came to light and we were able to substantiate the charge against him," O'Brien said.

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