A man hid in plain sight as he stole several items from a Sidney hotel while also unsuccessfully trying to rob a liquor store before fleeing in a stolen car, said to be later recovered in downtown Victoria.
The spree of events happened at the Victoria Airport Travelodge on Victoria Day (May 23) sometime betweeen 11:30 a.m. and noon.
It’s believed the man jumped a fence between the hotel’s pool area and a nearby gas station, before entering the building. From there, he stole a staff member’s wallet from a housekeeping cart, as well as two other purses.
“My understanding on the timeline is that he wandered next door to our liquor store with these purses, tried to steal a bottle of Jack Daniel’s,” hotel general manager Nick Coates said, adding that when a store clerk confronted the man, he handed him the bottle and walked away.
Using keys in one of the purses, the man went on to steal a car, which was later found abandoned in the downtown core.
Coates said the hotel was able to gather security footage from around the hotel and shared it with other hotels in the Greater Victoria area, leading to the suspect being identified. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Cpl. Andres Sanchez confirmed that police are working to locate and arrest the person, who has not been identified as they have not been charged.
When asked whether this incident can be connected to staff shortages, Coates said it was a crime of opportunity.
“If you think about it, that’s the best time, ” he said. “People don’t know if you are a guest in the hotel. You could be anybody and people are busy doing their jobs. Doing it right under their noses is the best way to do criminal activity.”
Coates said the key takeaway is to keep office doors closed and locked all the time.
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