Police swarmed Willowbrook Shopping Centre early afternoon Thursday investigating a gun incident.

UPDATED: Suspect named in border jumping case

The ERT was called out to search for the fugitive who ran the border on a motorcycle.



Charges have been laid against the suspect in a bizarre border jumping incident last Thursday.

 

Brent Vernon Charpentier, a 49-year-old Langley man, has been charged with possession of stolen property, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and driving while his license was suspended, said Cpl. Holly Largy of the Langley RCMP.

Charpentier has been released from custody and is due back in court on Nov. 21.

Charpentier is allegedly the man at the controls of a motorcycle that jumped the border from Washington State on Oct. 27, then sped towards the Willowbrook Shopping Centre, where police launched a massive search.

 

The began at about 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 27, said Largy.

Although it was initially reported that two men on motorcycles ran the Aldergrove border crossing at 272nd Street, police now say the incident happened farther east, in Abbotsford.

Abbotsford Police received a report from a member of the public that a motorcycle had jumped the border south into the United States.

The Abbotsford Police contacted the American authorities, and the US Border Patrol arrested one man on a motorcycle at about 1 p.m.

They also saw a second man on a motorcycle jump the border north into Canada.

The Air One helicopter managed to find the suspect and tailed him to the Willowbrook Shopping Centre.

The biker then dropped his vehicle on the sidewalk and ran into the mall. He was seen going into Toys R Us.

Langley RCMP and the Emergency Response Team both arrived and a search of the mall took place.

Tammy Broad just moved from Edmonton to the West Coast to manage the Metalsmiths Sterling jewelry store in the mall.

She and another staff member were at work when the incident happened.

“I saw him as he ran by but he was all in his gear. I didn’t see any facial features, nothing, unfortunately. I wish I saw more.”

She initially thought it was a bank robbery.

“At first nobody knew what was going on,” she said.

A police woman came by and recommended she close up.

Broad soon heard it was a border jumper and the grapevine said he had guns “which makes me even more worried.”

The motorcycle turned out to have been stolen from Abbotsford, with plates stolen from Surrey.

Surveillance footage from the mall showed the suspect – who was quickly recognized by Langley officers as someone they had dealt with in the past, said Largy.

Police headed to the suspect’s residence and watched him enter a car with a woman driving. The car was pulled over and the man was arrested without incident.

PHOTO: Patrons were confused about the unfolding incident Thursday afternoon. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

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