A Sidney/North Saanich RCMP officer speaks to the reported owner of a dinghy, which a woman allegedly attempted to steal in downtown Sidney Wednesday morning. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Suspect taken into custody after allegedly attempting to steal a dinghy in Sidney

The incident happened Wednesday morning near Beacon Wharf

The Sidney/North Saanich RCMP continues to investigate an attempted dinghy theft in downtown Sidney early Wednesday morning.

The incident happened at approximately 6 a.m. near Beacon Wharf.

Const. Carrie Harding of Sidney/North Saanich RCMP said in an initial response to the Peninsula News Review that police responded to what she called a theft in progress of a dinghy near the Beacon Wharf. “Police attended and located the dinghy, the owner and the suspect,” she said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

Witnesses on scene reported police talking to a man believed to be the owner of the dinghy, who was on a supply trip from his sailboat anchored off the wharf.

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“It’s unclear what the motivation was,” Harding said.

According to Harding, the owner and the female suspect were not previously known to each other.

Police were able to make contact with the suspect on land. Harding said police had had no prior contact with the suspect arrested and then released Wednesday morning.

The incident caused no small measure of excitement during what was otherwise a quiet morning for bystanders with police responding with two vehicles. In addition to its prominent location, the object of the alleged theft attempt also raised some eyebrows around the scene as police interviewed the apparent owner of the dinghy, as well as the bystander, an elderly woman, who first reported the incident to police.

“I have been here for a year-and-a-half and I don’t ever recall us responding to that prior,” said Harding. “We have had stolen dinghies though. They are worth quite a bit of money.”

Harding, however, said no connection exists between this case and a case in June 2019 when RCMP officers arrested a 36-year-old woman aboard a sailboat after responding to a break and enter in progress at the Seaspan ferry dock in North Saanich.

At the time, crews told police that an unknown woman was onboard and appeared to be stealing items from cabins. When confronted by Seaspan crews, the woman fled. Police arrived and extensively searched the area before a crew member spotted her trying to make her escape in a dinghy. Officers eventually pursued the woman to a sailboat where she was eventually arrested.


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