Passersby help police stop suspect who stole cane from blind man in Vancouver

A cane is seen in the arms of a blind man in Washington in an Associates Press file photo. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Elaine Thompson/the

Vancouver police are thanking three members of the public who helped them arrest a man who stole a cane from a blind man in the West End on Tuesday.

The victim, a 40-year-old newcomer to Canada, was standing near Davie and Thurlow streets around 3:45 p.m., when a stranger snatched the cane from his hands.

Police said the man tried to hang on to it, but was overpowered and “left stranded at the intersection” as the suspect walked away.

A man and two women who witnessed the theft pulled over their vehicle, confronted the suspect and followed him until police arrived. He was arrested at a bus stop near Davie and Burrard streets.

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“We depend every day on the caring citizens of Vancouver to help us keep our neighbourhoods safe, and we’re extremely thankful to these kind strangers who stepped up to help us right a wrong,” said Sgt. Steve Addison in a Wednesday news release.

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“While they could have chosen to drive on, they instead did the right thing and helped us make an arrest in this cruel offence.”

A 37-year-old man has been charged with one count of robbery. His criminal record includes convictions on a number of previous, unrelated charges including willfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer, breach of a probation order, and mischief of $5,000 or under.

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