‘Rooftop crawler’ arrested after scaling downtown buildings and breaking into several businesses in Nanaimo

'Rooftop crawler' arrested after scaling downtown buildings and breaking into several businesses in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP has arrested a man who was caught scaling on top of downtown rooftops before breaking into several local businesses.

According to police, the incident began at approximately 10 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19 when officers received a report from a business on Church Street that said they could hear footsteps on the rooftop of their downtown building.

RCMP attended the scene and determined that a suspect, being dubbed the ‘rooftop crawler’, used a stolen ladder to gain access to a heritage building and had unlawfully entered several businesses on the second floor of the building.

Officers surrounded the building and made efforts to deescalate the suspect, who was still inside the building.

The man, a 27-year-old, would frequently stick his head out through windows that he had previously broken, according to police, however, efforts to have the man leave the property peacefully seemed to fall short.

Police say that during the incident, some officers utilized the roof of the nearby Coast Bastion hotel to keep an eye on him, while others worked with Nanaimo Fire crews to breach the front door to the business, in an effort to prevent the suspect from breaking further windows.

During the apprehension of the individual RCMP Police Service Dog Knight was utilized to subdue the uncooperative and highly agitated man, but in PD Knight’s efforts, the dog sustained minor injuries to his paws and required medical treatment at a local animal hospital.

“This was an extremely dynamic situation where investigators were faced with apprehending a highly unpredictable and violent offender who appeared to be under the influence of unknown substances. Police Service Dog Knight and his handler were instrumental in bringing this critical incident to a relatively quick conclusion”, said Const. Gary O’Brien with Nanaimo RCMP.

The suspect, who is not from Nanaimo, was taken into custody, having sustained minor injuries that were treated on scene by BC Paramedics.

He was later released from police custody with first his appearance in Nanaimo Provincial Court set for late June 2022 on charges of Break and Enter, Theft under $5000 and Mischief.


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