Vancouver Police are searching for a robbery suspect who deployed bear spray inside a busy department store last week, and ask anyone who can identify the person to call police.
“This was a violent crime that occurred on one of the busiest shopping nights of the year and affected many people,” says Sergeant Steve Addison, of the December 3 incident at Holt Renfrew, in Pacific Centre. “We’re asking everyone to look hard at this video and call us if you know the person responsible.” The robbery occurred around 6 p.m. on December 3, as holiday shoppers were visiting the Dunsmuir Street retailer. The suspect, who was masked, entered the store and deployed a cloud of bear spray, then walked over to a display rack and stole a $1,800 purse, before exiting the store and walking east on Dunsmuir to Seymour Street.
“Dozens of people were impacted by the bear spray, which causes intense skin irritation, temporary blindness, and respiratory concerns,” adds Sergeant Addison. “The entire store had to be evacuated because it was so hard to breath.”
VPD investigators have not yet identified the suspect, and are now turning to the public for help. Police are looking for a man or woman believed to be in their 20s, wearing a yellow face mask, a green hoodie, and a distinctive black cap with a white logo on the front.
Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 604-717-4022, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.