"Violent downtown shoplifter" attacked employee with bear spray: VPD

Dec 31 2020, 12:01 pm

Police are asking for the public’s help after a robbery in downtown Vancouver in which an employee was reportedly attacked with bear spray.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) says that the incident occurred on December 29 just after 3 pm, at the London Drugs on Granville Street and West Georgia Street.

An “unidentified man” allegedly walked into the pharmacy and grabbed three bottles of vitamins. Store security saw the suspect conceal the bottles in a black backpack and confronted him. The man then responded by using bear spray.

“The suspect used bear mace against the store employee,” says Constable Tania Visintin, VPD in an emailed statement. “The spray was applied directly to the victim’s face.”

Police say they arrived within minutes of the 9-1-1 call but were unsuccessful in finding the suspect. They’re now appealing for any witnesses to step forward.

The suspect is described as a White male between 40 and 50 years old, standing at approximately 5’5″ tall and with an average build.

At the time of the incident, he wore a black hooded sweater with a black jacket, dark blue jeans, and a baseball cap with a yellow brim. He was also carrying a black backpack and wore a blue medical face mask.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the VPD at 604-717-4021.