Belt buckle mistaken for handgun leads to visit from Victoria cops

A fashion crime committed early this morning caused havoc for Victoria police.

Reports of a couple with a chrome handgun in the backyard of a small white house at 584 John St. forced Victoria police to call in reinforcements as they staked out the home, cordoned off the block and removed neighbours.

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There were thoughts the gun could be related to the shooting outside an apartment building at 519 Constance St. in Esquimalt Monday. The nine-millimetre handgun believed to have been used in that shooting has yet to be located by police.

A Rock Bay business owner called police at about 8:30 a.m. about seeing a couple at a table with a gun. Police said they were grateful for the call.

Police got within feet of the couple and reported over the police scanner seeing a chrome-coloured gun but relayed it was not apparent whether the firearm was authentic.

“It looks very realistic,” said Victoria Const. Mike Russell, displaying the piece.

The couple was swiftly arrested and it was discovered that metal replica gun — about the same size as a real handgun with detailed markings — when picked up, was hollow and had belt attachments. It also had a pricetag inside of $39.99.

While it’s not illegal to own a replica handgun belt buckle, it’s important to note that “a fashion statement like that will attract the attention of police,” said Russell.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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