A dangerous sex offender who has been at large since Friday was caught in Langford Sunday with the help of a taxi driver.
VicPD said Westshore RCMP officers arrested Scott Jones, a court-designated dangerous offender with a history of violent sex offences, on Sunday morning. Police issued a warning late Friday that Jones, 56, was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for being unlawfully at large in the Victoria area.
West Shore RCMP said they received a call around 9:20 a.m. from Mohammed Rashead, a driver for Blue Bird Taxi, who told police a man had given him money and asked him to go inside the Superstore on Langford Parkway to buy new clothes for him. The man told Rashead he couldn’t go inside himself, because police were looking for him.
Rashead went into the store, leaving Jones in his taxi, and called police.
Const. Meighan Massey responded to the call and recognized Jones from photos. Jones noticed Massey approaching and barricaded himself inside the vehicle, while attempting to light the interior upholstery of the taxi on fire, police said.
Massey broke a window to arrest Jones, who has been transferred to VicPD’s custody.
Rashead told police after the arrest: “I did my duty as a citizen and am happy I helped the RCMP catch such a dangerous man.”
No one was injured in the encounter.
As a designated offender, Jones would have been in the custody of Corrections Canada. VicPD wasn’t able to say whether Jones lives in an institution in Victoria, or how he came to be at large. The department was notified by Corrections Canada as soon as they were aware that Jones was at large, said spokesman Bowen Osoko.
A spokesman for Corrections Canada said Scott is serving an indeterminate sentence as a dangerous offender. His sentence began on April 29, 1988.
“Offenders who have been released in the community on day parole, full parole, statutory release, or a long-term supervision order and who have been suspended but not apprehended are considered to be unlawfully at large,” said Jean-Paul Lorieau, Pacific regional manager of communications for Corrections Canada, in an email.
He did not specify what conditions Jones was under when he became at large.
Jones was sentenced to five years in prison after he was convicted of rape, gross indecency and attempted rape of three girls in 1982, according to court documents. While on parole in 1986, he was charged with three counts of sexual assault with a weapon and three counts of unlawful confinement. He pleaded guilty to one count each of sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon. The trial judge declared Jones a dangerous offender and gave him an indeterminate sentence, which means he will be incarcerated as long as he poses a serious risk to public safety.
Jones appealed his dangerous offender designation to the Supreme Court of Canada but his appeal was dismissed in 1994.