75 days jail for theft, mischief at White Rock eatery

Two civilians and a CN police officer are being credited with helping catch a man who allegedly robbed a White Rock business last month.

A pair of civilians and a CN police officer are being credited with helping catch a man who allegedly robbed an uptown White Rock business last month.

Sgt. Joel Glen said two men working at a business in the 1500-block of Johnston Road gave chase on Sept. 29 after hearing a call for help from the Crispy Falafel.

According to the police report, a man entered the 1570 Johnston Rd. eatery just before 11 a.m., ordered food, then grabbed for money when the cashier opened the till.

The culprit fled down a nearby walkway.

In addition to the two men who responded to the call for help, a CN Police officer on patrol in the area noticed the chase and got involved, arresting a suspect about a block away, Glen said.

No one was injured during the arrest. The eatery cashier suffered a cut finger when she tried to stop the thief from taking the cash.

Glen said police “totally commend… and appreciate” the actions of the civilians. At the same time, he cautioned against taking such risks.

“We would never ask people not to step in and help people who are in trouble,” he said. “At the same time, we prefer they don’t put themselves in harm’s way unnecessarily. Especially for property crime.

“There’s always that fine line over whether you should stick your neck out for something that can be replaced.”

The CN officer has been cited internally for his actions that day, Glen added.

Names of the civilians and CN officer were not released.

On Oct. 9, Darren August Howald, 43, appeared in Surrey Provincial Court, where – according to court information online – a guilty plea was entered to two charges: theft under $5,000 and mischief under $5,000. He was sentenced to 75 days in jail and 18 months probation.