New Westminster – On July 15th at approximately 6:00pm the New Westminster Police Department was dispatched to the area of 6th Street and 6th Avenue after a 9-1-1 call about a theft in progress.
The caller shared that a man was inside a retail store attempting to steal a wig. After being confronted by store staff the suspect pepper sprayed the staff, and ran from the store. As the suspect fled the area, he continued to spray people in the area with pepper spray. Police rushed to the scene and arrested someone matching the suspect description. Additional items of property that had been reported stolen earlier that evening were also found in possession of the suspect.
“We’d like to thank the quick thinking witnesses that saw this theft in progress and called 9-1-1.” stated Sergeant Justine Thom. “Their quick action allowed officers to arrive within four minutes of the call. At that point, the suspect was still in the area and could be taken into custody.”
A 27 year old Vancouver resident was arrested and later released on a number of conditions, his next court appearance is scheduled for September 14, 2022 at New Westminster Provincial Court.
There is reason to believe there may be additional people who were pepper sprayed and fled the area before police arrived on scene. Police are asking these victims to reach out to police, to share what happened, and to access the services of the Victim Assistance Unit. The New Westminster Police Department can be reached at 604-525-5411.
CONTACT PERSON: Sergeant Justine Thom