A suspect was arrested after allegedly having his replica gun taken and his truck nearly stolen during a botched armed robbery Friday afternoon.
According to an RCMP press release, a 29-year-old man allegedly attempted to rob the 7-Eleven in Harewood at about 4:30 p.m. Friday.
However, after demanding cash, the suspect put down his replica firearm on the counter and another customer “picked it up began striking the suspect with it.” Police say the suspect “vacated his plans of robbing the store,” and ran to his waiting vehicle outside.
“Unbeknownst to the suspect, while he was attempting to rob the 7-Eleven, an unknown male noticed the keys in the ignition of his truck and decided to steal the truck,” the press release noted.
The “wannabe truck thief” was deterred by the yells of another alert citizen and fled on foot, say police, but in the confusion, the truck keys were dropped on the ground and so the armed robbery suspect “ran to his truck but [couldn’t] find his keys, so he too [took] off on foot.”
Alexandre Babin was arrested with the help of RCMP Police Dog Services about 30 minutes after the incident. He was held in custody overnight and later released on conditions. He is set to appear in court June 2.
Police credited citizens with helping to foil the armed robbery and truck threft. RCMP say they have spoken to a number of witnesses, but are still interested in speaking with one other man whom they believe witnessed the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.