Photo courtesy Janel Debalinhard.

RCMP nail alleged sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

An arrest has been made in the recent theft of a rubber sex toy from the Sexy Kitten Adult Boutique in Courtenay — and it was the owner of the boutique herself who played the biggest role in the alleged thief’s capture.

On Jan. 17, the Comox Valley RCMP apprehended the suspect who the previous Wednesday had stolen a foot-long rubber toy from the boutique.

The arrested suspect appears to be a man in his mid-60s. On Jan. 10, he allegedly used a hammer to break into the boutique before making off with a foot-long rubber toy.

Sexy Kitten Boutique owner Janel Debalinhard said she recognized the suspect instantly when she watched the surveillance footage of the theft.

She said the man had previously expressed interest in a similar toy and had even used a tape measure to measure it.

“A man came in a few times — more than five — to check out a particular item,” said Debalinhard. “At first, I didn’t think he was very suspicious but he started to get more suspicious.”

“One afternoon he said he’d be back for it, and that he was excited to have it, but he broke into the store that night to steal it.”

None of this information has been confirmed by police or proven in court.

The toy the man allegedly stole was not the one he had asked about, which Debalinhard said was sold earlier that day, but a significantly larger one that was on sale for $150.

“When he broke in, he was looking for the one I didn’t have anymore,” she explained. “He took a replacement item that was much larger, came back a few minutes later and tried to find [the one he originally wanted] before the cops came.”

Also stolen was a pair of panties, which was dropped on the ground outside the shop.

Debalinhard said she later recognized the suspect while at a local coffee shop and notified RCMP.

“I hadn’t ordered yet, but I turned and looked at the window, because someone told me to, and there he was walking through the parking lot,” she said. “I left, got in my car, and followed him going 1 km/h all the way through town.”

The alleged suspect was released on bail, with a promise to appear in court.