West Vancouver police say one man has been arrested and charged after a bomb scare and attempted bank robbery at Park Royal on Wednesday (May 11).
According to police, a man came into the CIBC around 5 p.m. and handed a note to staff demanding cash and threatening to detonate an explosive inside his backpack.
Officers caught the suspect as he was leaving the bank and seized his backpack.
Police evacuated the mall while they waited for the RCMP’s explosives disposal unit to arrive and deal with the potential bomb. They determined there were no explosives.
On Thursday, the Crown laid one charge of robbery against Glen Edwin Brown, 52, of no fixed address. He has since been released and is due back in court in June.
“It's been a number of years since we've had a bank robbery of any kind in West Van,” said Sgt. Mark McLean, West Vancouver Police Department spokesperson. “It's even more uncommon for the police to get there while the person is still at scene as well.”
McLean said thanks are owed to the public and mall staff.
“The public was actually quite calm and orderly about things, despite the inconvenience, and I think most people understood once it was explained to them that there was potentially a hazard, that we were there for their safety,” he said.
The following was published on May 11
Police asked the public to avoid Park Royal South as they investigated a "suspicious" package Wednesday evening (May 11).
At 5:28 p.m., West Vancouver Police Department tweeted out that the mall was being evacuated because of the package. Emergency crews were called to the scene.
At 6:16 p.m., WVPD updated the situation, saying that the package in question was a backpack, and that the RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit was en route to examine it.
At around 7:38 p.m. the explosives unit arrived at the scene.
And at 8:34 p.m. police said the backpack and its contents were determined to be safe. The area is expected to reopen.
Speaking to the North Shore News, Sgt. Mark McLean said WVPD had some information to suggest that the backpack could pose a threat.
"And that's why we've cleared that entire area," he said.
McLean said that he'll likely issue a statement tomorrow morning about the circumstances leading up to police investigating the backpack.