British Columbia

Suspect arrested in SkyTrain iPad robbery

A suspect has been arrested in the beating of a woman in a wheelchair and the theft of her iPad at a SkyTrain station last week, Vancouver police say.

A suspect has been arrested in the beating of a woman in a wheelchair and the theft of her iPad at a SkyTrain station last week, Vancouver police say.

A man was arrested on Wednesday morning at a Vancouver area rooming house with the help of officers from the Vancouver Police Department, according to Transit Police Const. Doug Spencer. A second man who was involved in the crime is still being sought.

The man in custody has a long criminal record, and appears to have issues with drugs and mental health, Spencer told CBC News

"I'm no clinical doctor but I would say he's bordering on complete drug psychosis," said Spencer.

A man identified by transit police as a robbery suspect is seen entering Broadway Station in Vancouver. (TranLink)

After television newscasts aired surveillance video images of the two suspects on Tuesday night, police received dozens of calls, he said. Another arrest is expected soon.

"There's so many, we are going to have sit down and calculate how many people have given us tips. Dozens of people have identified the guy we have in custody as the person in the video."

Deaf victim used iPad to communicate

Cassie Campbell was robbed last Thursday by two men at the Metrotown station in Burnaby at about 9:30 p.m. PT, just as a westbound train was pulling in.

Campbell, who is in her early 20s, has cerebral palsy, is deaf and cannot speak. The iPad was one of her only means of communication.

This man was also identified by transit police as a suspect in the robbery and theft of an iPad from Cassie Campbell. (Transit Police)

After Campbell was robbed she followed the pair onto the SkyTrain to try to get her stolen device back, but the men pushed her over in her wheelchair, assaulted her and ran off the train with the iPad at the next station, Royal Oak.

There were several witnesses and at least two of them chased the robbers through the station, but were unable to stop them.

On Tuesday, police released a surveillance video of two suspects that eventually led to the arrest on Wednesday.

CBC viewer moved to help out

After the story was broadcast on CBC News Vancouver on Tuesday, viewer Dennis Wong called the newsroom and offered to buy a new iPad for Campbell.

A few hours later, Wong was in the Apple Store in the Metrotown mall picking up a new iPad for Campbell, when she happened to arrive on her own.

Dennis Wong gives a new iPad to Cassie Campbell to replace the one taken from her by two robbers on the SkyTrain May 10. (CBC)

Wong was able to present the new computer to Campbell outside the store.

"You just want to help out as many people as you can," he said. "And I'm so glad I've been able to help her out," said Wong.

Campbell, speaking in sign language, told CBC News it was a horrible experience, but said she won't let it change the way she lives her life.