Bear spray used in attempted robbery

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating a violent attempted robbery at Country Club Centre Monday where a clerk and several customers were attacked with bear spray.

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating a violent attempted robbery at Country Club Centre Monday where a clerk and several customers were attacked with bear spray.

A lone male jumped  the counter of the B.C. Lotto booth  at about 10 a.m., sprayed the female clerk and then attempted to open the safe.

He was unsuccessful and jumped back over the counter, running in the direction of  Save-On-Foods.

The clerk’s screams caught the attention of several mall customers who chased the suspect.

A 64-year-old man momentarily grabbed the male but was sprayed and lost his grip. The suspect sprayed at least two other people attempting to catch him.

The male exited the mall near Save-On-Foods and was seen getting into a newer-model Toyota Sienna van.

The van was parked behind Lucky’s Liquor Store adjacent to 107th St. and left in a north-bound direction.

The suspect is described as a white male, late teens or early 20s, six-feet, 170 pounds, with short, dark hair, dark-rimmed glasses and rotten teeth.

He was wearing a blue and grey plaid jacket, dark pants and a black backpack.

Victims of the bear spray were treated by paramedics at the mall.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said police would like to speak to an elderly man who waiting for a bus on 107th St., saw the van and gave its description and direction to mall employees.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.