Manhunt ensues following theft from Wal-Mart

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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.

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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.

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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.

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