Maple Ridge car dealership staff pursue man who stole keys

Large police presence after suspect fled through backyards

Police were prowling the streets around 202nd and 203rd streets with cruisers and a dog team looking for suspects who stole car keys from a dealership on Saturday. (Contributed)

Police were prowling the streets around 202nd and 203rd streets with cruisers and a dog team looking for suspects who stole car keys from a dealership on Saturday. (Contributed)

There was a large police presence in a west Maple Ridge residential neighbourhood on Saturday, as a thief trying to escape with keys from a car dealership fled through backyards.

When staff at Maple Ridge Volkswagen realized the keys had been stolen, they pursued two culprits who had fled on foot. The thieves split up, but the dealership staff pursued one man, and had him briefly trapped inside the double doors of a Safeway store, with police on their way.

The thief dropped some keys and apologized for his crime, but then escaped and fled across Dewdney Trunk Road.

He threatened his pursuers with bear spray, then told them he would jump in front of traffic if they continued to try to apprehend him, and they allowed him some distance. Police took over the hunt, bringing in police dogs and blocking off streets in the area of 202nd and 203rd Streets near Dewdney Trunk Road.

The man appears to have dumped or lost his belongings, and police may have recovered the suspect’s identification, along with keys from a different car dealership.

More to follow