A woman was seriously injured and will require long-term treatment following a robbery attempt at knifepoint early Thursday.
Police were called at about 4:20 a.m. to respond to a robbery in the 100 block of Nicol Street.
A woman had been walking in an alley and had stopped to light a cigarette when a man approached and asked for her lighter.
When she passed it to him, he dropped it and pulled out a knife.
The victim, fearing for her safety, tried to grab the knife and sustained serious injuries to her hand.
The suspect demanded her purse, cellphone and money. The victim gave him an undisclosed amount of cash before she was able to distract him, flee from the alley and call for help.
A man at the 7-Eleven store at the corner of Nicol and Milton streets drove the victim to the hospital to be treated for her injuries, which will require further treatment by specialists.
Sgt. Sheryl Armstrong, Nanaimo RCMP spokeswoman, said investigators, after speaking with witnesses, have learned the suspect has allegedly pulled a knife on young women on previous occasions and police are warning people to be aware of their surroundings.
The suspect is described as Caucasian, in his mid 20s, with a thin build, and buzz cut, dark, sandy blonde hair. He was wearing dark clothing.
“The investigation is in its early stages and police hope to able to release more information next week,” Armstrong said.
Anyone with information about this incident or the suspect is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.