Vancouver – A robbery suspect has been arrested and two Good Samaritans are recovering from stab wounds they sustained while helping Vancouver Police solve a violent crime in the Olympic Village on Boxing Day.

“These bystanders acted bravely and decisively to help a fellow citizen in need, and we commend their courage,” says Sergeant Steve Addison. “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.”

The incident began around 7:40 p.m. Tuesday, when two people agreed to meet in the Olympic Village to conduct a Facebook Marketplace exchange. The seller, a 36-year-old from Vancouver, believed he was meeting a legitimate buyer. The transaction turned violent when the supposed buyer deployed pepper spray and tried to flee without paying for the item.

That’s when a number of witnesses stepped up, chased the suspect down, and subdued him until Vancouver Police officers arrived.

“We commend these brave citizens for their assistance in apprehending a violent suspect, and we recognize the risks they took to help someone they didn’t even know,” says Sergeant Addison. “Their selfless actions stopped the suspect from getting away with the crime and may have prevented others from falling victim. We’re saddened that two Good Samaritans were assaulted in the process and we wish them a full recovery.”

The two injured witnesses were making food deliveries at the time of the Facebook Marketplace robbery when they overhead someone calling for help and saw the suspect attempting to flee into a nearby taxi. They managed to prevent the man from getting in the cab, and with help from the third bystander, who was running errands nearby, they gave chase and held him down until VPD officers arrived with handcuffs.

One food-delivery worker was stabbed in the hand, and the other was stabbed in the shoulder while attempting to stop the suspect from fleeing. Both men were treated at hospital.

Police also acknowledge the actions of other bystanders, including those who called 9-1-1 to provide important information to responding police officers and those who remained at the crime scene to speak with investigators.

“With everyone’s help and cooperation, we were able to quickly make this arrest and recover important evidence, which we expect will result in multiple charges being laid,” says Sergeant Addison.

The suspect, a 21-year-old Vancouver man, is currently in custody and awaiting a court appearance.

Vancouver Police remind everyone to use caution when meeting strangers to buy and sell used goods, as robberies and scams stemming from Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist transactions continue to be a concern throughout the region. Anyone meeting up to make a sale is encouraged to use the VPD’s Safe Exchange Location, located outside VPD headquarters at 2120 Cambie Street. The Safe Exchange Location is well-lit and includes video surveillance for increased safety.