Thief attempted to sell parts on UsedVictoria
Saanich police arrested a 48 year old man who was attempting to sell parts stolen from the University of Victoria Formula Motorsport club on the online listing site UsedVictoria. The man, who is well known to the Saanich police, was apprehended on May 8 and was charged today with one count of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime.
These parts, valued by the Saanich police at between $3 000 and $4 000, were stolen from the UVic Formula Motorsport club’s trailer sometime between 11:30 p.m. on April 24 and 1:25 a.m. on April 25.
“Pretty much everything” stolen was recovered by the police, according to Sargent Julie Fast of the Saanich police. “There’s only a couple of things that weren’t recovered, and they were replaceable items such as a pelican case … I understand that almost all, if not all, of the unique parts that the team built were recovered.”
“An individual associated with the Formula Motorsport team was watching online to see if the items would show up, and found them,” said Sargent Fast in a phone interview with the Martlet.
A UsedVictoria advertisement of the stolen parts was posted on May 3, looking to sell a Formula One racing steering wheel, steering column, and electronic circuit boards for $200. As of this time, the listing is described as “on hold” and has been viewed 391 times.
The parts were returned to the University of Victoria by the police on the afternoon of May 8. UVic has arranged for the expedited delivery of these crucial parts to the team, who are currently in Michigan for the annual Formula SAE event which began on May 8.
Every year, the club designs and builds a car to compete internationally against teams from other universities. The design for this year’s car began in June 2018, and they have been manufacturing parts since January 2019.
“It’s a pretty large-scale operation,” said Stephen Bradley, the Formula Motorsport team’s project manager. “We’ve been manufacturing multiple parts pretty much every day for the past 3.5 months”
The Formula Motorsport team was able to source all of the missing parts prior to the competition as a result of a $2 500 donation from UVic alumni. In spite of the loss of parts, Bradley said that the team “continued working on the car day in and day out” in the weeks leading up to the competition.
“We’ve been in touch with the police earlier today and they will be handling it from this point on,” the Formula Motorsport team commented on their Facebook page on May 4, after someone posted a link to the UsedVictoria advertisement for one of the stolen parts. “Thanks so much for your support and keeping your eyes out for it!”
This story is ongoing, and will be updated as more information is available.