Manhunt ensues following theft from Wal-Mart

A suspected shoplifter led Fort St. John police on a chase this afternoon.

Fort St. John RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says it began when officers responded to a call at Wal-Mart earlier today, after one of the store’s loss prevention officers approached an alleged shoplifter and grabbed his backpack.

In the ensuing scuffle, a BB gun fell out of the backpack, according to Shelkie, which the suspect immediately grabbed before fleeing from the store.

Shelkie says the suspect ran north of the store from yard to yard, with eyewitnesses leading police to a block of 103 Avenue around 3 p.m. this afternoon. Officers had shut down the street between 94 and 96 streets, while officers and K-9 unit searched the area.

Officers were briefly seen going in and out of a home, but came out empty handed before reopening the streets a short time later.

The man, who is known to police and is wanted on outstanding warrants, remains at large. Shelkie says there is no immediate safety concerns for residents.

According to Shelkie, the BB gun in question was not stolen from the store. She did not know what was alleged to have been stolen by the man.

A suspect description was not immediately available, but Shelkie said RCMP may release more details shortly.