It may just be one of the quickest arrests police have ever made.
A man who police said tried to use a stolen credit card to buy a Red Bull at a southern Alberta convenience store was arrested almost instantly by a uniformed officer standing right behind him.
The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon at the Starlite Convenience Store & Asian Market in Medicine Hat. Police were called to the area for a report of a suspicious person and the responding officer followed the suspect into the store.
Surveillance video from inside the store shows the suspect try a couple of times to use a credit card to buy a Red Bull, which the store owner said he had already opened. As it turns out, the credit card was stolen.
“When he went to pay, unfortunately, it came up on the slip that it was a stolen credit card,” store owner Clayton Stevens said in an interview with CHAT News Today.
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The video shows the officer smiling while standing behind the suspect as this unfolded, unbeknownst to the alleged fraudster.
The officer swiftly walks up to the man, handcuffs him and takes him out of the store.
Stevens said while he deals with crime nearly every day, he’s never seen anything like this. He said it was tough to contain his amusement.
“I almost fell down laughing. I was doing pretty well everything I could to not start laughing as he was arresting him. It was quite comical,” Stevens said.
“That was definitely enjoyable to watch.”
Arresting officer a 20-year member of the force
Police said the arresting officer, Const. Ian Scrivener, has been with the Medicine Hat Police Service for nearly 20 years.
“He is one of our finest officers,” Insp. Brent Secondiak said of his colleague on Wednesday.
Secondiak said Scrivener knows almost everyone on the street in Medicine Hat and believes he had an idea who the suspect was before following him into the store.
“He’s just outstanding. He’s an extremely hard worker. He knows most of the criminal element in the city and he’s very engaged in the community,” Secondiak said.
“I spoke to him about it today and he said out of all the things he’s done in his career, he thought this was quite funny that it was on video and that this is in the public eye.”
Police said the 35-year-old suspect was released on a promise to appear in court at a later date, which has not yet been scheduled.
The man is facing one count of possession of stolen property under $5,000 and one count of fraud under $5,000. His name will not be released until charges are sworn in, which police said will likely happen later this week or early next week.
Stevens said the suspect showed up at his store again on Wednesday and was asked to leave.
The suspect has not been ordered by police not to return to the convenience store, however, since he has been banned from the store by the owner, police said he could face trespassing charges if he goes back.