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Canadian Tire workers’ real-time updates help police nab alleged shoplifter

Nanaimo RCMP Street Crime Unit nearby when alleged shoplifter threatens store employees with knife
Nanaimo RCMP Street Crime Unit members were “Johnny-on-the-spot” after reports of a shoplifting suspect allegedly threatening Canadian Tire store employees with knife on Feb. 13. (Black Press file)

Nanaimo Mounties happened to be in the right place at the right time when a shoplifter allegedly threatened store employees with a knife this past weekend.

The incident happened Saturday at about 3 p.m. at the Canadian Tire Store on Uplands Drive, where a shoplifter is alleged to have threatened to stab employees who tried to prevent him from leaving the property, according to an RCMP press release.

But in this instance, the lie was put to the saying, “there’s never a cop around when you need one,” because officers with Nanaimo RCMP Street Crimes Unit happened to be driving by the store when they heard the report of the incident broadcast on their radios and that the suspect was being followed by several employees, who were essentially providing real-time updates of their location as they followed the suspect from a safe distance.

Just under a minute after receiving the broadcast, the officers spotted the suspect near the Uplands Drive and Oliver Road intersection and had him surrounded, forced him to the ground and apprehended.

With the man was handcuffed, police searched his clothing and found two folding knives, along with a small amounts of suspected fentanyl and heroin. They also found a small amount of bonding agent, allegedly stolen from Canadian Tire.

The release noted the suspect also provided a false name and produced identification for another person and was arrested for obstruction.

Jackson Filgate, 36, was released later that day, with a promise to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo, March 2, to face charges of theft under $5,000, possession of stolen property under $5,000, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and obstruction.

“The employees of Canadian Tire handled a volatile situation the best they could,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “Without getting too close to the suspect, they followed from a safe distance and provided current information to police dispatch. This allowed the officers to quickly find them and the suspect, and safely take control of the situation.”
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