A helicopter, police dogs and West Shore Mounties joined in a search for a man who fled from police Tuesday in Langford.
An alert off-duty police officer spotted a known criminal suspiciously inspecting cars in the Westshore Town Centre parking lot in the afternoon.
The officer called in to the detachment and RCMP officers surrounded the area and waited to see if a crime would be committed. The man didn’t break into any cars, but once he got into the vehicle he had arrived in, RCMP ran the plates and discovered it had been flagged as stolen.
An unmarked police car tried to prevent the suspect from leaving the parking lot, but the man rammed the car and then drove off. Other RCMP members in marked cruisers decided not pursue.
“Every pursuit is different but we have to look at the public safety,” said RCMP Sgt. Max Fossum. “We’re not going to put people at risk for chasing stolen cars.”
An RCMP air services helicopter happened to be in the area for training, so it helped out in the search for the vehicle. The police dog service was also brought in for the search.
A nearby resident to the mall spotted the car and called the RCMP. Officers inspected the vehicle and then tracked the man down to a residential backyard. He was taken in to custody without incident.
The suspect will likely face charges for the possession of a stolen car and assault, for ramming the police car.
Anyone with information on any of this incident is asked to call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).