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Nanaimo police capture suspect in computer, camera theft

A man who allegedly sweet-talked a woman out of her camera and computer made his appearance in Nanaimo provincial court Monday.

Arnold Joseph Wilson, 38, was arrested Saturday, six days after Wilson stopped by Doris Lavoie's apartment Dec. 8 to inquire about a sign in her window advertising a room for rent.

After Lavoie invited Wilson in he allegedly convinced her there was something wrong with her laptop and that it needed a program installed. Lavoie never gave him permission, but he left with the computer anyway a few minutes later. Later that day Lavoie, 74, noticed her camera was missing, too.

She called police, who identified Wilson from a bag he left behind and found him at a home on Harewood Road Saturday and arrested him for theft.

The laptop and camera have not been recovered.

Police said they have had numerous run-ins with Wilson since he came to Nanaimo in 2005.

“This was simply a case of someone taking advantage of a kind, caring and sweet individual," said Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. "Even though Ms. Lavoie was conned, she certainly has not lost her sense of humanity. She really wants her message to be for everyone to continue reaching out to strangers and not become callous or intimidated as the result of an isolated incident. It appears Doris Lavoie has not lost the true meaning of Christmas."

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