Nanaimo RCMP is asking for public assistance in identifying a man who stole three backpacks from a local daycare.
The incident happened 10:45 a.m. on Nov. 24 at a daycare located on Wildlife Place.
“The little ones were not told about the theft but when the parents were notified they had a range of emotions — from anger, disgust to shock,” said Const. Gary O’Brien.
The backpacks were hung on a fence outside the daycare, due to COVID-19 guidelines, police said. As soon as the daycare operator saw that the backpacks were missing, she called the police and reviewed her security system.
Security camera footage shows a man riding into the driveway on a yellow mountain bike. He grabbed the three backpacks and rode away. RCMP said officers patrolled the area but could not locate the suspect.
Two of the three missing backpacks were found in the marsh near the Nanaimo Ice Centre an hour later. The contents, consisting of a change of clothes, were found next to the backpacks, according to police.
A dark blue backpack was not found and police said they believe it was kept by the suspect because it is larger than the others. The owner of the daycare will no longer hang backpacks on the fence, according to RCMP.
Police said the suspect is a Caucasian male in his late teens to early twenties. He was wearing a hoodie with a geometric pattern at the time of the incident.
If anyone has information on the identity of this person, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-40114.