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Passersby tackle North Vancouver parkade thief

TWO North Vancouver men tried to tackle a burglar in a Lower Lonsdale parkade July 5, but the thief brandished a weapon and managed to get away

North Vancouver RCMP are now hoping the public can help track him down.

A man who was in the parkade near Lonsdale Avenue and Esplanade to repair damage caused by a previous break and enter caught the burglar in the act of breaking into a storage locker.

The worker and a passing resident struggled with the burglar, who produced a screwdriver, threatened to injure them and made his escape.

Witnesses describe the suspect as a Caucasian male with darker skin, five feet 10 inches tall with a slim build. He wore a black hat, a green T-shirt and dirty jeans. In his flight, he left behind some tools and personal effects.

North Vancouver RCMP spokesman Sgt. Peter DeVries stressed that police don't want people to endanger themselves by trying to catch a criminal. "That said," he continued, "the risk these two men took to stop this criminal represents a voice in the community that we frequently hear, a voice that says 'We've had enough.'

"It's a sentiment with which the police sympathize. They were burglarized in the same way just days prior. I think they acted because they felt they'd had enough, and we feel the same way."

Three people were arrested for the previous round of break-ins while they were still inside the parkade and, police say, in possession of various tools. A resident who noticed a suspicious vehicle tipped off police.

DeVries said the detachment uses foot patrols coupled with crime mapping and statistical analysis to combat attacks on storage units, but there is no substitute for vigilant residents. "With so many eyes and ears living in the areas being victimized, it's inevitable that residents will see suspicious activity. If people spot something they think is out of place, no matter how small or insignificant it might appear, we want them to call us. Often what they see is just the tip of the iceberg."

Anyone with information about this crime can contact the North Vancouver RCMP at 6049851311 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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