Qualicum Beach residents nab robber

Police pleased with safe but effective citizen action

The Oceanside RCMP can’t keep the community safe all by themselves, but in Qualicum Beach at least, they don’t have to.

That was made clear last week when a supposed armed robber hit the Medicine Centre Pharmacy on June 21.

Oceanside RCMP Corporal Jesse Foreman said the incident started on Thursday at 10 a.m. That’s when a when a masked woman entered the pharmacy and demanded a large quantity of prescription drugs.

Foreman said she threatened the staff, vowing to use a weapon if her demands for the drugs weren’t met.

Staff complied and the suspect woman fled from the store with shopping bags full of the drugs she wanted.

She didn’t get far however. Foreman said she was followed from the pharmacy by several witnesses to a nearby parking lot, where they confronted her and prevented her from leaving.

When police arrived shortly thereafter, the witnesses pointed out the suspect to police, who put her under arrest without incident.

The suspect is facing multiple charges and made her first appearance in Nanaimo Provincial Court on Friday.

“This is a great example of citizens working together to ensure someone who had committed a serious crime was caught,” Foreman said. “Witnesses followed the suspect and then worked together as a group to surround her at a safe distance and await police.”