Shoppers at Willowbrook mall were treated to a bit of live action last Friday, Aug. 18, when police chased an alleged car thief through the busy shopping centre, arresting him in Sears.
While patrolling the Walnut Grove area just after noon Friday, an officer from the Lower Mainland Police Dog Services took notice of a man getting into a 2013 Ford Focus that had been stolen from Surrey some time overnight.
The officer attempted unsuccessfully to stop the vehicle and the suspect fled at a high rate of speed, said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy.
Fortunately, Air One was in the area and followed the vehicle through Langley to Willowbrook Shopping Centre.
That’s when the suspect exited the vehicle and ran into the mall. A Langley officer found him in Sears and was able to place him under arrest without further incident, said police.
Mauricio Javier Avila, a 25-year-old Surrey resident, has been charged with possession of stolen property, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, and driving while prohibited. He has been remanded in custody and is scheduled to next appear in court on Aug. 24.
Avila is known to Langley police.
He is facing charges in connection to an incident on July 25 in Langley. For that incident, he is charged with possession of stolen property under $5,000, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and failure to stop at an accident. He was out on bail at the time of the alleged Willowbrook mall incident.