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Castlegar citizens apprehend suspect after jewelry theft

Castlegar police are cautioning against the kind of Good Samaritan-ship that saw an alleged jewelry thief chased down and captured yesterday.

“An RCMP member was on routine patrol in the 1900 block of Columbia Avenue, around 11 a.m. when he came across a male holding another male down on the ground,” explained Sgt. Laurel Mathew. “The officer stopped to see what was going on and learned the male on the ground had been chased from Simone's jewelry store after (allegedly) having stolen more than $10,000 worth of jewelry, and had been chased and caught by witnesses.”

Mathew said that, while they really appreciate the effort and community-mindedness of the witnesses involved, they don't encourage members of the public to “confront or put themselves in harm's way with the criminal element, as they may be armed and/or violent, and very unpredictable when confronted”.

One male witness in this incident suffered an arm injury when he fell while chasing the suspect.

A 29-year-old man, Samuel Wensvoort, not from Castlegar, was arrested and charged with theft over $5,000.

“Police would like to use this opportunity to remind merchants, shoppers and the general public to be extra vigilant, especially at this time of year, with their belongings,” said Mathew. “Whether it be showing valuable goods or transporting valuables through parking lots, etc. It is also not recommended to leave purchased goods visible in your vehicle for any length of time.”