A surveillance camera still was released earlier this spring after a theft of rings from Mappins Jewellers. (Photo submitted)

Ladysmith man arrested for armed robbery and jewelry theft

Dustin Williams charged for robbery of beer and wine store and theft at jewelry store in Nanaimo

A 39-year-old man from Ladysmith has been charged for an armed robbery and jewelry theft in Nanaimo.

According to police, Dustin Sean Williams, 39, was arrested Saturday at his home in Ladysmith on suspicion of armed robbery and theft over $5,000 following an investigation by the Nanaimo RCMP Street Crimes Unit.

The robbery charge stems from an armed robbery June 5 at the Best Buy Liquor Store on Jingle Pot Road, when Williams, who had his face covered, allegedly pointed a firearm at a clerk, stole money from the cash register and fled. Police found evidence that furthered their investigation into the robbery after they arrested Williams and searched his residence.

As part of the police investigation, the robbery was never reported to the public.

“In this particular case, we had an idea, based on his activity, who he was,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “He hasn’t been charged, but it’s alleged that he was involved in some armed robberies prior to that. We recognize there’s a public safety issue, however, we decided that we would surveil him for several weeks and that we had and eye on him, basically 24-7, and that led to his arrest June 13. We felt that if it was released to the public too soon this individual would probably had destroyed evidence and we would not have got the charge, so we had to balance the public being notified versus the chance to make an arrest and get this guy off the street and public safety was always the No. 1 issue in our mind.”

Williams is also charged with one count of theft over $5,000 for a crime April 10 when four rings, valued at about $21,000, were taken from Mappins Jewellers in Woodgrove Centre. Investigators have retrieved one of the rings and the search for the remaining three is continuing.

Williams was formally charged for the crime when he appeared in provincial court in Nanaimo on Monday. He remains in police custody until his next court appearance Tuesday, June 25.

RELATED: Rings worth $20,000 stolen from Nanaimo jewelry store



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