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Aggressive panhandler arrested in downtown Victoria

Feb 08 2012

Victoria police have arrested an aggressive panhandler who they say has been harassing patrons inside downtown businesses locations.

Craig Wilson was arrested Monday afternoon after officers were called by staff in the Starbucks at 865 Yates St. who said the man was asking customers for money.

It’s the third time Wilson has been arrested in as many weeks, said police spokesman Const. Mike Russell.

He was also arrested Jan. 31, charged with trafficking and Feb. 2.

During the arrest on Monday, Wilson allegedly had a crack pipe on his person, which led to charges of breaching court conditions.

Russell said Wilson recently arrived in Victoria and has been incessant in his panhandling.

“VicPD has fielded so many calls of Wilson’s aggressive panhandling inside local restaurants and businesses that he was also charged with mischief as well as the breach of his court conditions,” Russell said.

Wilson is well-known to police across Canada and has outstanding warrants in other provinces.

Wilson appeared in court Tuesday on the mischief and breach charges and his next court appearance is Feb. 22.

kderosa@timescolonist.com