Numerous people were pepper sprayed after a wannabe wig thief fled a store in uptown New West.
New Westminster police officers attended a business near Sixth and Sixth, after receiving a 911 call about an alleged theft in progress. The incident occurred about 6 p.m. on Friday, July 15 in uptown New West.
“The caller shared that a man was inside a retail store attempting to steal a wig,” said a press release from the New Westminster Police Department. “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.”
According to the NWPD, police rushed to the scene and arrested someone matching the suspect description. Police say the suspect was found in possession of additional items that had been reported stolen earlier that evening.
“We’d like to thank the quick-thinking witnesses that saw this theft in progress and called 911,” said NWPD spokesperson Sgt. 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.
“There is reason to believe there may be additional people who were pepper sprayed and fled the area before police arrived on scene,” said the press release. “Police are asking these victims to reach out to police, to share what happened and to access the services of the Victim Assistance Unit.”
Anyone who witnessed this incident is asked to call the New Westminster Police Department at 604-525-5411.