A potential case of shoplifting was thwarted last weekend at West Shore Mall when a group of citizens – including an author in the midst of hosting a book signing – chased the down the young man.
The author was Don Easton, who spent 20 years working for the RCMP before retiring to Colwood to pen crime fiction novels.
Easton worked deep undercover with organized crime and now writes novels based on his experiences. He one of three men who chased the alleged thief.
On June 9 a youth ran past Easton as he was signing books at Coles in the mall.
Someone yelled for the youth to be stopped. Easton’s police instincts kicked in and he dropped what he was doing and took off after the youth.
“On the job is on the job,” Easton said. “Chasing shoplifters was never (a part of the job), but I don’t like to see people stealing and getting away with it either.”
Two other people joined the chase, which took them outside the mall and ended up across a field. One of the men tackled the youth as he tried to climb a fence out of the field.
At 62-years-old, Easton said he’s not in the shape he used to be and was glad someone a little faster joined the chase.
“I’m just so glad a citizen responded that way,” Easton said. “It was really nice to see.”
He is the author of five novels following the exploits of Jack Taggert, a character based on Easton’s career.
He did not know the other men who joined the chase and mall manager Laura Poland would not comment on the incident because it involved a youth.