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Northwest BC conservation officer chases down armed robbery suspect

A Smithers conservation officer (CO) chased down and apprehended an armed robbery suspect this week after the man tried to hold up Salt Boutique with a knife on May 24.

People don’t often think of COs as police officers, but essentially that is what they are. Consequently, when Smithers CO Ron Leblanc and his partner heard a call Tuesday on their police dispatch radio about an armed robbery in progress at the Main Street store, they sprang into action.

Having stopped to grab a coffee en route to a remote patrol cabin, the officers happened to be just a couple of blocks away.

The COs hit their lights and siren and joined the RCMP in the search for the suspect who had fled the scene of the alleged crime on foot. They spotted him moments later, according to the Conservation Officer Service, and Leblanc jumped out of the patrol truck and chased the man down.

“It was just like out of a movie,” said Leblanc. “As he’s running, the cash is falling out of his pocket as we’re chasing him.”

Leblanc caught up and apprehended the man, who now faces robbery as well as other unrelated charges.

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Thom Barker

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