Man stabbed, robbed after willingly giving money to panhandlers in Willoughby

Two panhandlers have been arrested after allegedly stabbing and robbing a Langley man who had already given them money.

On Nov. 15, a man had been sitting in his car at the Carvolth Bus Exchange in Willoughby. 

At around 7 p.m., he was approached by a man and a woman who asked for money, said Cpl. Holly Marks, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.

Police say the victim pulled out his wallet and gave the panhandlers a $5 bill, but the man then allegedly grabbed the victim’s arm, wanting more money from the wallet.

The man and the victim struggled over the victim’s wallet, while the woman rummaged through the car looking for more “loot,” said Marks.

The victim was stabbed in the shoulder during the struggle, police say. Marks could not say what weapon was used in the attack.

After the thieves fled, the suspect called 911 and while BC Ambulance paramedics checked out the puncture wound to his shoulder, Lower Mainland Police Dog Services tracked the trail of the thieves to a nearby abandoned house.

Unfortunately, no one was there when police arrived. 

It didn’t take long for police to come up with some suspects, through cooperative efforts within the Langley RCMP detachment, said Marks.

The descriptions of the suspects, their panhandling MO, and their former residence squatting in an abandoned house led police to narrow down their focus to a pair of individuals known from the area.

Fingerprints inside the vehicle matched up with their suspects, and both have now been arrested and charged, said Marks.

Justin White, 26, and Amanda Visona, 29, have both been charged with robbery and assault with a weapon.

They are currently in custody and are due to appear in Surrey Provincial Court on Nov. 28.

Supt. Murray Power, the head of the Langley RCMP, said this is the second incident of concern at the Carvolth Bus Exchange in the last month, after a man was arrested while apparently trying to remove catalytic converters from parked trucks.

Power said he was pleased that both incidents led to arrests.

“Continued efforts will be made to keep this area safe for commuters,” Power said.

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