Mounties trap bear spray robbery suspect

Police in Nanaimo have tracked down and arrested a man suspected of bear-spraying several people in a shopping mall last week.

Police in Nanaimo have tracked down and arrested a man suspected of bear-spraying several people in a shopping mall last week.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the suspect, 26, was arrested without incident at 9 p.m. Monday.

He was arrested at his home in the south Jingle Pot area, O’Brien said.

The arrest stemmed from an attempted robbery at Country Club Centre Oct. 3 when a man jumped over the B.C. Lotto booth counter, sprayed the female clerk and then tried to open the booth’s safe.

When that failed, he fled toward Save-On-Foods.

The clerk’s screams drew attention from several other customers who chased the suspect.

The suspect also sprayed a 64-year-old man who grabbed him, and two other people who gave chase before he jumped into a Toyota van and escaped.

The suspect’s name will be released after he appears in Nanaimo provincial court later today (Oct. 11) to face recommended charges of robbery and assault with a weapon.