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‘Cruel offence’: Man charged after robbery of blind homeless man in BC

Police say they still don’t understand the motive, but have charged Justin Jeremy Heron with one count of robbery following a disheartening incident in Vancouver on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old is accused of ripping a cane from a blind homeless man’s hands near the intersection of Davie and Thurlow streets around 3:45 pm.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) says the victim is a 40-year-old newcomer to Canada who is legally blind and relies on his white cane to navigate the city.

He has been sleeping in shelters for weeks, but typically walks around in the West End of downtown Vancouver during the day when the shelters are closed.

His ability to do so was compromised by the alleged theft on Tuesday afternoon and the victim was left stranded at the intersection as Heron walked away with the cane.

Fortunately, a trio of good Samaritans were passing by in a car and saw the robbery happen, so they stopped, confronted Heron and followed him until VPD officers arrived to make an arrest.

The officers recovered the cane and returned it to the victim before taking Heron to jail.

“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.

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

Heron is expected to appear in Vancouver Provincial Court at 5 pm today.



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