A cigarette lighter mistaken for a firearm ignited a massive police response to a possible armed robbery in Nanaimo June 12. (Photo submitted)

Mid-Island RCMP arrest two at gunpoint before determining lighter was misidentified as gun

Police respond in force after report of man with firearm in Nanaimo on June 12

Two men on central Vancouver Island were arrested at gunpoint and their vehicle searched by RCMP after a cigarette lighter was mistaken for a firearm.

Police responded in force at about 4 p.m. last Friday after receiving a 911 call, reporting a man with a black pistol had just walked in to the Piper’s Pub on Hammond Bay Road in Nanaimo.

According to police, moments later the same man and another male were seen exiting the pub with a case of beer and left in a vehicle. The witness conveyed the vehicle’s licence plate number to police, who responded with multiple vehicles, found the suspect vehicle heading westbound on Hammond Bay, pulled the vehicle over, closed a section of the road, removed the two men from the vehicle at gunpoint and arrested them for pointing a firearm.

The firearm turned out to be a cigarette lighter that resembled a mini blow torch and no weapons were found in the vehicle. A photo of the lighter was shown to the witness who confirmed it was the item seen.

The two people who had been detained were released from custody with no charges and, according to an RCMP press release, both men agreed they could understand how the lighter could have been confused with a real gun.

“The officers also stressed to the males that it might be time to consider moving to a more conventional lighter,” Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said in the release.

TODAY’S MOST-READ: RCMP say they’re seizing more weapons on Nanaimo’s streets



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Armed robberyCrimeRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

McDougall-Percillier gets top Rugby Canada honour

“I’m really stoked about getting this award”

Business notes: WINGS set to close on Aug. 29

A few of the things going on in Cowichan’s business community

Collision knocks over fire hydrant on Ypres Street

Duncan firefighters quick to get situation under control

Pumps not needed on the Cowichan River this year

Wet year so far has resulted in higher water levels

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Most Read