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3 bystanders help Vancouver police arrest suspect who tried to rob blind man

Police say the victim was standing on a street corner when the suspect grabbed his white cane
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A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform during a call in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. Vancouver police are applauding the actions of three Good Samaritans who helped officers arrest a suspect after he tried to rob a blind man of his cane. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver police are applauding the actions of three Good Samaritans who helped officers arrest a suspect after he tried to rob a blind man of his cane.

The blind man was standing near Davie and Thurlow streets in Vancouver’s West End Tuesday (Feb. 20) when a stranger “for unknown reasons,” police said, grabbed the cane from the man’s hands. He tried to hold on to his cane but was “overpowered and left stranded at the intersection after the suspect walked away with the cane.”

A man and two women in their twenties were passing by in a car when they saw the robbery happen, Sgt. Steve Addison said. They stopped, confronted the suspect and followed him until officers arrived at a bus stop near Davie and Burrard streets.

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

The cane was returned to the man, a 40-year-old newcomer to Canada. He is legally blind and relies on his white cane to navigate the city.

Police said he’s been sleeping in shelters for weeks and typically walks around the West End in the daytime when the shelters are closed.

Justin Jeremy Heron, 37, is charged with one count of robbery. Police said the motive for the robbery is not known.

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