A Vancouver Island man has been arrested and charged following an incident involving young girls at a local retail store.
On Aug. 22 at 10:55 p.m., RCMP officers from the North Cowichan/Duncan detachment responded to a report of a man acting inappropriately towards young girls at a store located in Cowichan Commons.
The man was reported to have been touching young girls in the aisles, speaking to them and behaving inappropriately.
Elsewhere in the store, the man vandalized merchandise geared towards young girls with profanities and crude drawings.
Family members and store staff were alerted to the situation and the man fled the store.
Based on detailed witness descriptions and surveillance footage, investigators zeroed in on 28-year-old Ryan Pearce from Duncan.
He was located and taken into custody the following day.
Pearce has been charged with two counts of sexual interference and is being held in custody until his next court appearance on Aug. 27.
“We encourage parents, guardians, and caregivers to take necessary security and safety measures in order to help keep the youth in our community safe,” said RCMP Const. Amron Christensen.
“Talk to you children about stranger danger, and go over safety planning with your children so that they’re prepared in case of an emergency.”
Christensen said no further information will be released relating to this matter in order to protect the identities of the youth involved.
If you have information about this incident and have not already spoken to police, or wish to report suspicious activity, contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.
You can also contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at cowichancrimestoppers.com to leave a secure tip online, or call 1-800-222-8477.