A 16-year-old Kelowna youth is facing potential criminal charges after police responded to a suspicious person complaint Thursday evening.
On Jan. 7 at 8:29 pm, the Kelowna RCMP responded to a report of a suspicious male youth inside the Orchard Park Mall. Police learned that the suspect youth had entered several stores trying to purchase a variety of items using multiple debit cards.
“The youth was refusing to pay unless the store offered the ‘Tap’ feature on their credit and debit terminals. An officer confronted the youth and attempted to place him under arrest for attempted fraud. The youth pushed the officer, and fled on foot,” said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey.
“Civilian bystanders attempted to stop the youth from fleeing, however were unable to stop him. The officer and mall security personnel caught up with the youth outside the mall.”
The youth actively resisted arrest, and was eventually taken into custody with the assistance of additional police officers. During his arrest he allegedly uttered threats towards police and turned combative. During transport the young man also caused damage to a marked police vehicle.
The young man was found in possession of several pieces of personal identification, credit cards and cheques belonging to victims who had recently reported their wallets as stolen. He was also found in possession of prescription medication not in his name.
“The Kelowna RCMP is interested in identifying the bystanders who attempted to assist our officer inside the mall. If you participated in attempting to prevent the suspect from fleeing and have not yet spoken to police. Please contact Kelowna RCMP, Cst. Sheldon Herman, at 250-762-3300,” said O’Donaghey.
The young man faces several potential charges including; fraudulent use of a credit/debit card, breach of a Probation Order, escape lawful custody, assaulting a police officer, uttering threats, obstructing a police officer, and mischief. He remains in police custody and is expected to appear by video in Court on January 14, 2016.