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UPDATE - Double robbery caper ends after police chase

Mounties search a suspect and a stolen car after a double robbery and car chase through Nanaimo that ended on the corner of St. Andrew
Mounties search a suspect and a stolen car after a double robbery and car chase through Nanaimo that ended on the corner of St. Andrew's Street and Arbutus Avenue shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Two of three suspects involved in the robbery were captured Wednesday with one still at large Thursday.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Police in Nanaimo are still tracking down a third suspect following a double robbery that concluded with a police chase through a residential neighbourhood as suspects fled in a stolen vehicle.

Events unfolded shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday when an employee at Matheson Jewellers and Fine Art on Turner Road called 911 saying a man had fled the premises after threatening to smash the store's display cases. The would-be robber ran off empty handed and police now had his description and that of the car he was driving from the store's staff.

The next call came at 4:25 p.m. from Central Drugs store staff at Dufferin Crescent where two men, wearing masks, threatened to pepper spray the employees. This time the men robbed the store of drugs – police are not disclosing the quantity and type of drugs taken – and fled in a stolen blue Ford Focus, the same vehicle used in the previous robbery attempt. The car had been reported stolen on Tuesday.

"Which helps," said Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

Drug store staff also provided descriptions of the two men.

When Mounties spotted the Ford being driven on Waddington Road a short time later the chase was on as more than 24 police officers swarmed into the area.

The public got in on the chase too. O'Brien said people out walking their dogs and returning home from work pointed out the direction of the stolen Ford to police as the chase zig-zagged through the residential neighbourhood.

The vehicle pursuit came to a halt at the end of St. Andrew's Street and Arbutus Avenue where suspects bailed out of the car and fled onto the E&N Trail.

Police K-9 teams, plain clothes officers and general duty members converged and netted two of the suspects shortly before 5 p.m.

"We did locate a quantity of the drugs in the vehicle as well," O'Brien said.

Harley Rae Jackson, 30, and Raymond Richard Mansfield, 29, both of Nanaimo, were each charged with one count of robbery Thursday. Both men will remain in custody until their next court appearance Tuesday (Dec. 10) when further charges are expected to be laid.

The third suspect is still at large.

"We're fairly comfortable we'll be able to pick him up soon," O'Brien said.

No one was injured in either of the robberies, but the Ford was damaged in the pursuit.

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