Bystanders subdue suspect after Facebook seller robbed in Vancouver

Police are commending two Good Samaritans who chased down and subdued a robbery suspect in Vancouver’s Olympic Village this week, each suffering a stab wound in the process.

Both of the men are food delivery workers who overheard someone calling for help on Boxing Day and decided to intervene, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

“We commend these brave citizens for their assistance in apprehending a violent suspect, and recognize the risks they took to help someone they didn’t even know,” Sgt. Steve Addison said in a news release Wednesday. “Their selfless actions stopped the suspect from getting away with the crime and may have prevented others from falling victim.”

The incident began when a private sale arranged over Facebook Marketplace turned violent Tuesday evening. Authorities said the seller was pepper-sprayed by someone posing as a buyer, who then tried to run away without paying for the item.

Police did not disclose what item was being sold.

When the victim cried out for help, the two Good Samaritans jumped into action, preventing the suspect from getting into a taxi.

According to police, a third bystander – someone who was running errands in the area – then helped the other two give chase. The Good Samaritans managed to catch and hold a suspect until police arrived, but one delivery worker was stabbed in the hand and the other was stabbed in the shoulder.

“These bystanders acted bravely and decisively to help a fellow citizen in need, and we commend their courage,” Addison said. “While we never want people to put themselves in harm’s way, we appreciate the quick thinking of these Good Samaritans, who worked together to subdue the suspect while our officers were rushing to respond.”

Other bystanders called 911 and remained at the scene to provide witness accounts to the officers who responded. As a result of everyone’s efforts, Addison said police expect multiple charges will be approved against the suspect.

The person arrested – a 21-year-old Vancouver man – remained in custody Wednesday awaiting a court appearance.

Authorities have long recommended caution when buying or selling things online, and many police departments have a safe exchange location set up with video surveillance. In Vancouver, that location is outside the police department’s headquarters at 2120 Cambie St.


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