Bystanders restrain driver after stolen city truck crashes on Pandora Avenue

A chaotic scene unfolded on Pandora Avenue early Wednesday after a man jumped into a City of Victoria maintenance truck, crashed it into a streetlight in a getaway attempt, and was taken down by bystanders when he tried to run, said police.

The suspect, in his late 30s, is well known to police. The city worker sustained significant injuries. Both were taken to hospital with injuries described as non life-threatening injuries.

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Patrol officers were called to the 900-block of Pandora Avenue about 4:20 a.m. for a report of a single-vehicle collision. Officers were told several bystanders were trying to restrain the driver.

When police arrived, officers were told the man attempted to steal an unoccupied city-owned Ford-150 truck used to collect garbage.

It’s not yet known whether the worker was fully outside the vehicle or partially in it, or whether the truck was running or just had the keys in the ignition.

The city staff member attempted to intervene in the theft. Both men were in the truck when it crashed into a street light and a curb at 919 Pandora Ave., outside Our Place Society, said police.

Const. Cam MacIntyre said the investigation is ongoing and details are still being revealed.

“It was a challenging and dynamic situation for this City of Victoria employee,” MacIntyre said. “It was early morning and he was just trying to do his job and everyone deserves to be safe while doing their job.”

The city worker’s injuries are categorized as non-life threatening but they were “significant,” he said. “We’re hoping that the employee is OK.”

Once released from hospital, the suspect will remain in police custody, said police.

Police are considering charges of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm and theft of a vehicle over $5,000.

Investigators are also trying to determine if the suspect was impaired. If so, police will consider charges of impaired operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm.

Collision analysts and investigators remain in the area.

Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call the VicPD report desk at 250-995-7654 extension 1. To report what you know anonymously, call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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