A brash attempt by a Victoria woman to recover her stolen bike led Victoria police to a cache of stolen goods inside a notorious Rock Bay “flop house.”
Officers with the Focused Enforcement Team were patrolling near a problem house in the 500-block of John Street, near Rock Bay Avenue, when a woman told them she had recently recovered her stolen bike from the residence.
Police knocked on the door, were allowed inside and found more than 50 stolen items, including bikes, an iPad and items that appear to have belonged to a Freemason. The goods are worth at least $10,000, police said.
Officers also seized 20 grams of crack cocaine, 50 grams of marijuana and $3,500 in cash.
A 30-year-old Victoria man, wanted on an outstanding warrant for drug possession, was arrested inside the home. Charges have not been laid, so the man’s name was not released.
The woman who tipped off the police had confronted the alleged thief at the house after she saw her stolen bike for sale on Craigslist. She posed as an interested buyer and then demanded the bike back when she got there in person, a move Victoria police say is very risky.
Sgt. Barrie Cockle, who heads the bike squad, said it’s safer for people to contact the police if they see a stolen item for sale, and officers will arrange the fake buy.
Victoria police have been called to 584 John St., in the industrial area of Rock Bay, 15 times this year — four times for violent offences and the rest for drugs and property crime. Members of the Focused Enforcement Team said sometimes upward of a dozen people are staying at what they call a “flop house,” which led police to set up almost daily patrols in an effort to stem problems.
“All it takes is one house like this and it brings down the area,” Cockle said.
Victoria police will post pictures of the stolen goods on the department’s Pinterest page, “Is This Yours” (pinterest.com/vicpdcanada/ is-this-yours).
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