Victoria police nab break-and-enter suspect after dramatic pursuit near elementary school

Click to play video: 'Dramatic police takedown in Victoria'
Dramatic police takedown in Victoria
WATCH: Victoria Police officers arrested a suspect in a break-and-enter thanks to a tip from a member of the public who foiled his attempt to outwit police. Neetu Garcha has the story – Jun 2, 2017

Police in Victoria went on a dramatic, multi-hour pursuit of a break-and-enter suspect near an elementary school in the James Bay area Friday morning.

Sgt. Kari Cochrane with Victoria Police said an officer responded to a report of two “unwanted” people — a man and woman — at Coast Victoria Hotel.

It turned out the duo had broken into a secured area of the hotel. Police say when confronted by security staff, the man became aggressive while the woman gathered some belongings. The two left the area before police arrived.

The officer obtained some descriptions and took chase, eventually locating the two people.

When the officer tried to apprehend the suspects, the man took off running.

Investigators say the suspect ran through MacDonald Park towards the James Bay Community School and the James Bay Community Centre, which houses a pre-school. The suspect ran through a group of children and entered the buildings, running through a pre-school classroom and down a hallway with the lone officer in pursuit. The suspect exited the building and continued running into a parking lot belonging to an apartment building on St. James Street.

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He then dropped a bag and some clothing that he was carrying and leapt over a fence.

Meanwhile, additional officers converged on the James Bay area and set up a containment area.

An officer recovered the discarded bag and searched it, discovering drugs and break-in tools. Officers then began a thorough yard-to-yard search of the area.

A citizen spotted the suspect hiding in a tree in front of an apartment building in the 300-block of St. James Street.

Officers converged on the area and the suspect again attempted to flee, but was taken into custody.

The suspect was searched and found to be in possession of a knife. He was taken to hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries related to jumping over fences.

Once identified, officers established that the suspect was breaching multiple court-ordered conditions, which included prohibitions from possessing drugs, break-in tools and weapons. Multiple charges including breaching court-ordered conditions, breaking and entering and obstruction of a police officer are all being considered.

Officers have also tentatively identified the female involved.

While police were in pursuit of the suspect, James Bay Community School was locked down out of an abundance of caution. The lockdown was later lifted.

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No children or officers were injured.

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