Police nab armed robbery suspect in Ladysmith

A co-ordinated response by officers from six RCMP units led to the quick arrest of an armed robbery suspect March 4.

A co-ordinated response by officers from six RCMP units led to the quick arrest of an armed robbery suspect Tuesday, March 4 in Ladysmith.

Shortly before noon on March 4, Ladysmith RCMP responded to a report of an armed robbery at a floral shop on First Avenue.

Initial information indicated that a man had entered the business, brandished a knife and demanded cash from a woman working at the shop, according to police. The suspect fled the store on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Multiple RCMP units were working in the Ladysmith area at the time of the robbery, including South Island Traffic Services, Nanaimo Police Dog Service, Nanaimo Forensic Identification Section (FIS), and the Island District General Investigation Section (GIS). The Ladysmith Detachment, with support from the RCMP Operational Communication Centre, co-ordinated these additional resources as they searched for the suspect over the next hour.

“As is often the case, there were additional RCMP resources working in and around Ladysmith which we called upon to bolster our response to this armed robbery,” Staff Sgt. Dave Herman, Detachment Commander of the Ladysmith RCMP, said in a press release. “Regardless of the type of police work different officers are engaged in, a fleeing armed robbery suspect becomes their top priority, as it did [March 4].”

Shortly before 1 p.m., an officer with South Island Traffic Services spotted a man matching the suspect description in the rural Diamond area of Ladysmith. Additional officers flooded the area, and a secure perimetre was established. RCMP Police Dog Services began tracking the suspect, locating him a short time later hiding under the sun deck of a residence on Grouhel Road, according to police.

The suspect, a 28-year-old Ladysmith resident, was arrested and taken into custody. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in Duncan Provincial Court today (Wednesday, March 5).