Three people bear-sprayed while trying to stop a man from breaking into an SUV in Burnaby

Burnaby Now

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Charges have been laid against a Surrey man suspected of bear-spraying three people who were trying to stop him from breaking into a vehicle in Burnaby Thursday.

police lights / woman bites attacker
File photo

RCMP got a report of a man trying to break into a BMW SUV in the 6900-block of Buller Avenue at about 12:20 p.m.

“Three individuals attempted to intervene in the theft and were bear-sprayed by the suspect just prior to him fleeing the scene,” stated an RCMP press release.

As luck would have it, Burnaby RCMP’s community response team was in the area on an unrelated matter.

Officers attended the scene immediately and caught the suspect after a brief foot chase.

The man, described by police as a prolific offender, was taken into custody without incident and found in possession of stolen items, according to police.

Damir Mehmedovic, 26, has now been charged with three counts of assault with a weapon and one count of theft under $5,000.

“Part of the community response team’s mandate is to provide a higher level of investigative response to files involving prolific offenders and to support General Duty as much as possible,” said Insp. Kathy Hartwig, the officer in charge of community programs. “CRT demonstrated great team work yesterday by immediately responding and acting on this file. This is the key reason why this prolific offender was so quickly and safely apprehended.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Burnaby RCMP at 604-646-9999. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.solvecrime.ca.