A suspect has been arrested after a security guard in his sixties was stabbed by a man wearing a purple wig at the Walmart Supercentre store in Campbell River.
Police arrested a man in his 30s shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7, according to RCMP. The suspect remains in police in police custody as the investigation continues and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, Dec. 8.
Const. Maury Tyre of the Campbell River RCMP said the incident happened around 11 a.m. on Dec. 7 when a man attempted to leave the store with a shopping cart filled with unpaid-for items.
The security guard who attempted to stop him was stabbed at least twice. Tyre said he is in serious, but stable condition, and is expected to make a full recovery.
“We’re going through significant amounts of video and other evidence,” Tyre said Tuesday afternoon while the suspect was still at large. “And we’re hoping to identify and apprehend this individual quite quickly.”
Brazen shoplifting has become an issue in the city, the officer noted.
He said thieves are well aware of policies within local businesses that stress not interfering with shoplifters.
The Walmart in question did not have a security detail for a while, he added.
“So unfortunately (shoplifters) have become very accustomed to doing what they want, when they want and how they want.”
Tyre called the stabbing incident ‘disturbing.’
“It is very important to us to get this individual in custody, and hold him to account as quick as we can.”
Director of Corporate Affairs for Walmart Canada, Adam Grachnik, shared the sentiment, calling the incident, ‘completely unacceptable and deeply troubling.’
“Walmart is cooperating fully with the police investigation to ensure the perpetrator is held accountable for this crime,” he said.
“We know this behaviour does not reflect our customers in Campbell River and they will join with us in condemning this assault. Our thoughts are with the security guard as he recovers from his injuries.”