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Man with toy gun at Safeway detained by Chilliwack RCMP

Police say it’s not prudent to walk around with a toy gun in a grocery store
A Chilliwack RCMP officer detaining a man coming out of Safeway on January 16, 2022 with what ended up being a toy gun. (Twitter @roblilfab)

If it’s looks like a gun and someone thinks it might be a gun that doesn’t mean it is a gun.

But you still shouldn’t take it to the grocery store.

That’s the message from the Chilliwack RCMP after the photo of a recent incident was shared on Twitter.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 16), police received a complaint of a man wearing a maroon toque and a black jacket carrying an assault rifle in the Safeway parking lot at Chilliwack Mall.

RCMP officers quickly arrived at the scene but did not immediately find the man.

Then they did see him leaving the Safeway carrying what appeared to be a small assault rifle.

“Safety becomes a major factor for the public and officers so the man was taken into custody,” Chilliwack RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail said. “The assault rifle was inspected and determined to be a toy gun.”

The man never pointed the gun at anybody, and he was released from custody.

“He thanked officers for their understanding,” Rail said.

The photo posted on Twitter by @roblilfab showed a man lying face down in the parking lot with an officer standing over him. Beside the man on the ground is a container of milk, a box of cereal and the toy gun.

Rail added that it is “not prudent” to walk around in public or in a store with a replica or even a toy if it could be mistaken for a real gun.

“It’s a very high risk situation,” he said. “Fortunately this was a toy but it puts everybody in jeopardy. When someone carries anything that is representative of a firearm in a public place like that, officers treat it like a real firearm.”

Last summer a male dressed in camouflage was spotted with a firearm in a wooded area in Cultus Lake. After a large police presence showed up, it was determined to be a young boy with a toy gun.

READ MORE: Chilliwack RCMP race to report of male with firearm, find young boy with toy gun

READ MORE: Mounties cleared after shooting B.C. man armed with toy gun

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