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Determined West Van officer uses dog, citizen's car to track down shoplifting suspect

West Vancouver police tapped some unusual resources this week, including a citizens car, a dog team and the Vancouver Police Department, to track a suspected shoplifter all the way downtown. The pursuit started just after 4:30 p.m.

West Vancouver police tapped some unusual resources this week, including a citizens car, a dog team and the Vancouver Police Department, to track a suspected shoplifter all the way downtown.

The pursuit started just after 4:30 p.m. Thursday when the department got a call from a store at the mall saying a man had snatched merchandise from its shelves and fled on public transit.

A West Vancouver traffic officer responded to the scene and tailed the bus to Georgia Street in Vancouver where he flagged it down. When the bus pulled over, the suspect hopped off and ran away. The officer followed on foot, at one point getting a ride in a citizens vehicle to close the gap, and called in a West Vancouver dog team and the Vancouver police to help.

The 36-year-old was eventually brought down on West Hastings Street near Broughton Avenue.

A search turned up a Play Station 3 video game valued at $19.99, according to police. Its unclear if other merchandise was retrieved as well.

Investigators are recommending charges of theft under $5,000 and escape from lawful custody. The man, who is well known to police, has been released on a promise to appear in court. No name has been released.

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jweldon@nsnews.com