Jewelery store thief who shot at Kelowna police surrenders

Devan Markcus Wong, from Surrey, who shot at police and car jacked a young man in the wake of a robbery gone awry, surrendered this week.

"(Wong) came to the detachment with his legal counsel and turned himself in," said Kelowna RCMP Const. Kris Clark.

It was a peaceful resolution to one of the more violent episodes local police have dealt with in recent history.

Wong came into conflict with local Mounties Dec. 6, 2011 after a call to 911 alerted them to a robbery in progress at Premier Jewelry and Loan.

As he exited the building, laden with stolen jewelry, officers were waiting. Wong dropped the stolen goods, took off running and shot several bullets at the RCMP dog and its handler who were first on scene.

A lengthy search ensued, but police later learned he had carjacked a young man who had been driving through the neighbourhood. He was forced to transport Wong to a West Kelowna trailer park. Information on what happened next has yet to be released.

In the months that followed, Premier Jewelry and Loan employees, and shop owner Martin Strasser, have worked on coming to grips with the violent episode, and news of Wong's surrender will help them to continue healing.

"Obviously we're very excited by this. He put a lot of people at risk. To have him off the street is the best option we could have had," Strasser told the Capital News Friday.

"Until you've been the victim of a violent crime, you can't realize how it haunts you. That doesn't go away with his arrest, but it makes it a bit easier."

Strasser also had high praise for Mounties who he said doggedly worked to identify Wong from a low quality image from his security system.

"From our perspective it shows people that shops like ours aren't a target and you won't get away with it," he said.

He's also taking a lesson out of the experience.

"We now have new security protocols in place, better video surveillance and a door buzzer," he said. "This has been a big eye-opener."

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