The 59-year-old man who earned the first Victoria police Civic Service Award turns out be a retired Saanich cop.
Michael Drescher received his award Friday for collaring a pursesnatcher the day before. He has been retired from the Saanich Police Department for almost nine years.
Drescher was on Cook Street near Fort Street on Thursday morning when he saw a man running in his direction and a woman following, yelling for help.
The purse has been grabbed from the clinic where the woman worked.
Drescher said instinct took over.
"He was coming toward me," he said. "I knew that there was only one or two ways that he could go, and I managed to push him into a sandwich-board that was there."
By then, the man had already rooted through the purse and had the wallet, Drescher said.
He held the suspect until police arrived. A 29-yearold man well-known to police was arrested and was due in court Friday on theft charges.
"I was in the right place at the right time," Drescher said. "And I would hope that anybody, any capable person in that situation, would do the same thing. If it were my loved one, I'd want somebody to help them, too."
Drescher received his award from Victoria police Chief Jamie Graham.
"When [citizens] step up and act like this, when they see a crime in progress and do something to take the offender into custody to keep people safe, we can't ask any more than that," Graham said.
The Civic Service Award recognizes officers and members of the public who give outstanding service that helps to make Victoria and Esquimalt safer. firstname.lastname@example.org
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