Nanaimo RCMP Media Advisory
Nanaimo file # 2020-16175

A shoplifting incident at a local convenience store ended with one of the suspects firing a flare into the store igniting a fire that caused thousands of dollars damage. The incident occurred at approximately 9:10 pm on Saturday May 2, 2020, at the Circle K convenience store located at 4286 Departure Bay Road.

City of Nanaimo Fire and Rescue crews responded and were able to extinguish the blaze. The lone employee told officers two young males entered the business. They selected a few items and before leaving without paying, one of the suspects discharged a single tube flare in the direction of the employee. The fire caused extensive structural damage inside and outside the store. The flare ignited merchandise forcing the employee out of the store. The damage was so extensive that the owners were required to bring plywood to secure the premises. The discarded tube flare was located outside the business. Officers made patrols for the suspects but were unable to locate them.

Investigators reviewed video surveillance and were able to identify both suspects, who are 16 years of age. “This was a reckless and extremely dangerous act that has significantly impacted a local business, traumatized the clerk and could have resulted in significant personal injury to the employee,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

The Nanaimo RCMP Victim Services will be following up with the employee and investigators are currently searching for the two males.