DARTMOUTH - Although reports of a man carrying a firearm in Mic Mac Mall Tuesday turned out to be false, multiple Halifax police officers rushed to the scene where a man was eventually arrested for stealing clothes from the Winners Homesense.
At 12:34 p.m., police received a report of a man walking through the mall carrying a firearm on his belt. Responding officers – and a K-9 unit – located the suspect outside the Homesense store.
Halifax Regional Police Const. Pierre Bourdages said the man was found carrying a small knife in a holder and some stolen clothing, but no firearm.
Bourdages said police don’t believe there was a threat to the public, and no charges would have been laid if the man had only been carrying the knife because there was no intent to harm.
“It was incidental, really. It was not the purpose,” Bourdages said about the arrest and eventual theft charge. “We responded there to a complaint of an individual armed with a firearm, which he was not.”
Bourdages said further investigation revealed no one had actually witnessed a man carrying a gun, and the knife was never removed from the holder.
Bourdages said he did not know exactly how the original report came in, but Halifax police responded to it as a firearm call.
“Somehow there was miscommunication there,” Bourdages said. “That’s something we have to look into.”
An 18-year-old man is now facing charges of theft under $5,000 and possession of stolen goods under $5,000.
Mic Mac Mall was checked over by police, but Bourdages said there was no need to shut it down. The Homesense store was closed for a short period of time while officers investigated the scene.
The 18-year-old will appear in Dartmouth provincial court at a later date.