It was a wild scene at Saanich Centre on Tuesday afternoon when a man suspected of shoplifting from the London Drugs brandished a handgun, then hijacked an electric bike on the adjacent Lochside Trail and sped away.
The suspect is 37-year-old Michael Godolphin, a man with previous criminal charges including assault with a weapon, and is considered armed and dangerous. As of Wednesday morning, the hunt was on, with officers actively looking for Godolphin.
— Saanich Police (@SaanichPolice) October 25, 2017
The incident began around 1:30 p.m. when police responded to a 911 call of a possible fight. The altercation started when a London Drugs loss prevention officer stopped Godolphin outside Saanich Centre for allegedly shoplifting.
When confronted, Godolphin had allegedly brandished a black handgun and fled. He made it to the Lochside Trail where he’s believed to have hijacked a black Miele model electric bike, headed southbound.
Saanich Police responded in numbers to the initial altercation and searched the trail and surrounding area while neighbouring Reynolds secondary went into a brief period of hold and secure.
“Saanich Police asked us to hold and secure, we locked the doors, but it only ended up being about 20 minutes when they let us know students could safely travel home,” said Reynolds principal Tom Aerts.
Godolphin is described as a white man, 5-foot-7, 175 pounds, with a shaved head. He has a tear drop tattoo near his right eye and a written tattoo that encircles the back sides of his neck. He was last seen wearing black Adidas straight leg pants with three white vertical stripes down the side, a black T-shirt, and a black hooded jacket with white writing on the chest.
As Godolphin is considered armed and dangerous, anyone who spots Godolphin should not approach him and should instead call 911 immediately.
Godolphin was charged as recently as Oct. 18 for possession of stolen property under $5,000. In September 2016 he was charged for assault with a weapon and for possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, as well as possession of controlled substances.