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Wanted man arrested in Abbotsford after three-hour takedown

Justin Walsh in custody after incident on Old Clayburn Road
The 2900 block of Old Clayburn Road in Abbotsford was blocked off for a few hours on Thursday (Jan. 12) while police were attempting to arrest a man wanted on several warrants. (Photo by Abbotsford Police Department)

An Abbotsford man who was charged almost a year ago in relation to an incident at a care home is back in custody after a takedown on Thursday night (Jan. 12).

Sgt. Paul Walker, media officer with the Abbotsford Police Department (APD), said officers had been “working around the clock” for several days to locate Justin Randy Walsh.

Walsh, 24, had failed to show up for court appearances, and a warrant for his arrest was issued on Nov. 29.

His charges include break-and-enter and assault with a weapon for an incident on Feb. 24, 2022.

On that day, police were called to a facility in the 33000 block of Bevan Avenue after Walsh allegedly broke in while armed with a knife.

No one was harmed, and the suspect fled before police arrived. A police service dog tracked down Walsh at a nearby residence that was known to him.

RELATED: Robber arrested in Abbotsford less than one month after release from prison

He surrendered to police without incident.

Walsh also has charges from October 2022 that include domestic assault, using an imitation firearm, breaching his probation and breaching a release order.

Walker said plainclothes officers on Thursday at about 3:30 p.m. saw Walsh enter a residence in the 2900 block of Old Clayburn Road.

He said uniformed officers contained the home, blocked off the road, and attempted to have Walsh come out on his own.

“Mr. Walsh refused, and subsequently barricaded himself inside the residence,” Walker said.

“Given the history of Mr. Walsh and his use of weapons, along with protocols for dealing with a barricaded suspect, the Lower Mainland emergency response team, as well as the Lower Mainland Police Dog Service, were called to assist.”

Walker said initial attempts didn’t work to get Walsh to come out, including using police crisis negotiators and launching tear gas.

But Walsh walked out at about 6:40 p.m. and was taken into custody, where he remains pending his next court appearance.

Walker said the public was not at risk during the incident.

“We understand that significant incidents like these bring a great deal of the unknown to the public in the area,” he said.

“We appreciate the public’s concerns during these situations and know that they deal with some inconvenience when the roadways are shut down. Our goal is public safety within our community, and the efforts (on Thursday) demonstrate just this.”

Walsh was sentenced in January 2022 after pleading guilty to six robberies in the Lower Mainland. He had been in prison for almost two years, and was sentenced to time served and three years’ probation.

Walsh was one of two men who faced a total of 35 charges for a series of armed robberies that occurred in December 2019 and January 2020 in Abbotsford, Langley, Chilliwack, Maple Ridge and Surrey.

RELATED: Two men face 35 charges for Lower Mainland armed-robbery spree

The pair were arrested on Jan. 11, 2020 after the robbery of a Subway restaurant on McCallum Road in Abbotsford. Police had the two under surveillance at the time, and they were arrested as they left the store.

At the time of their arrest, police said the two men were believed to be linked to another 16 armed robberies at liquor stores, gas stations, convenience stores and banks.

The remaining charges were laid in August 2020. In addition to the six robbery charges (the others were stayed), Walsh also pleaded guilty to using an imitation firearm.

The charges for his co-accused, Clint Aaron Jeremy Billy, 35, are still making their way through the courts.

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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