A cigarette lighter mistaken for a firearm ignited a massive police response to a possible armed robbery in Nanaimo June 12. (Photo submitted)

Mid-Island RCMP arrest two at gunpoint before determining lighter was misidentified as gun

Police respond in force after report of man with firearm in Nanaimo on June 12

Two men on central Vancouver Island were arrested at gunpoint and their vehicle searched by RCMP after a cigarette lighter was mistaken for a firearm.

Police responded in force at about 4 p.m. last Friday after receiving a 911 call, reporting a man with a black pistol had just walked in to the Piper’s Pub on Hammond Bay Road in Nanaimo.

According to police, moments later the same man and another male were seen exiting the pub with a case of beer and left in a vehicle. The witness conveyed the vehicle’s licence plate number to police, who responded with multiple vehicles, found the suspect vehicle heading westbound on Hammond Bay, pulled the vehicle over, closed a section of the road, removed the two men from the vehicle at gunpoint and arrested them for pointing a firearm.

The firearm turned out to be a cigarette lighter that resembled a mini blow torch and no weapons were found in the vehicle. A photo of the lighter was shown to the witness who confirmed it was the item seen.

The two people who had been detained were released from custody with no charges and, according to an RCMP press release, both men agreed they could understand how the lighter could have been confused with a real gun.

“The officers also stressed to the males that it might be time to consider moving to a more conventional lighter,” Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said in the release.

TODAY’S MOST-READ: RCMP say they’re seizing more weapons on Nanaimo’s streets



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Armed robberycrimeRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Stelly’s grads shocked after ‘anonymous friend’ pays for dinner

Friends took limo to Deep Cove Chalet to celebrate after graduation festivities cancelled

Saanich serves up virtual Strawberry Festival

Residents invited to look back on 54 years of festivals

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

VicPD investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Campbell River’s defunct cruise ship terminal to undergo evaluation for future plans

With no cruise ship coming through, the $16million terminal has been a white elephant for over 13 years

Most Read