Chilliwack Progress

Two off-duty RCMP officers nab would-be thief

Two off-duty RCMP officers nabbed a would-be car thief in Chilliwack early Sunday morning putting themselves in harm's way.

Police said one of the officers, Staff Sgt. Suki Manj, was on the phone and looking out the front window of his residence when he saw a man riding a bike pull into his driveway at about 5:20 a.m. and start breaking into his truck.

"Despite being only in shorts, the officer left his residence in minus 5-degree temperatures to confront the would-be thief," RCMP Const. Tracy Wolbeck said.

After a "lengthy struggle" with the suspect, she said, Manj asked his wife, Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth, who was also off-duty, to get help.

"Neighbours began coming out of their homes to assist the officers," Wolbeck said, and uniformed police officers soon arrived to arrest a 25-year-old Chilliwack man.

Both officers suffered frost-bite to their feet, Wolbeck said, and Manj suffered "severely pulled back muscles" from his struggle with the suspect.

The suspect was released from custody and returns to court in February.

Wolbeck said the public has high expectations of RCMP officers and "this is an example of that expectation being met."

"These officers confronted the suspect, despite the potential danger to themselves," she said.

Manj and Hollingsworth thanked their neighbours for coming to their aid and for putting themselves in harms way.

Last month, another off-duty RCMP officer in Chilliwack nabbed a suspect in a property offense.

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