A 28-year-old man has been arrested after a Mercedes was car-jacked in the parking lot of the Niagara-on-the-Lake outlet mall following a foot chase by mall security.
Police said mall security guards had been “alerted to a man on the property committing criminal acts” on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
The guards detained the man, but a “struggle ensued” and the man “ran throughout the property attempting to evade security officers.”
“During his escape attempt the man armed himself with a knife and was threatening the security officers,” Niagara Regional Police said in a news release.
The man then ran into the parking lot and “tried to gain entry into a number of parked cars,” eventually locating a parked Mercedes-Benz, opening the door and threatening the female driver with the knife.
The woman was able to escape without injury, as “a member of the public who had witnessed the events unfolding came to assist security officers as they tried to contain the man in the Mercedes.”
The suspect attempted to injure the member of the public with the knife, police said, and was able to flee the area in the Mercedes, “causing damage to it as it exited the parking lot.”
Following the incident another member of the public came forward after discovering his parked car had been entered and credit cards were stolen and used to make unauthorized purchases at the Outlet Collection by the same male suspect.
Police subsequently took over the investigation.
A man was arrested driving the Mercedes on Sept. 9 by members of Ontario Provincial Police on Hwy. 401 near London, Ont.
Michael Leroy Barrett, of no fixed address, has been charged by Niagara police with theft under $5,000, three counts of assault with a weapon, possession of weapon for dangerous purpose, robbery, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and failing to comply with a probation order.
Barrett faces additional charges by the OPP in relation to the incident at the time of his arrest, including dangerous driving, prohibited driving, failure to remain at an accident, resisting arrest and impaired operation by drugs.