84 Year Old Woman Holds Off Thief

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP responded to a break and enter in progress.  Police say they encountered by a man armed with an axe and hammer. 

Shortly before 5:00 am July 4th, RCMP responded to the report of break and enter in progress in the 1000 block of 30th Avenue in Vernon after receiving a 911 call from the resident of the home. The resident stated someone had just broken the window of their front door and was attempting to gain access by reaching through the broken window to un-lock the door from the inside. 

The home owner, an 84 year old Vernon woman, managed to prevent the suspect from gaining entry to her home by hitting the man on his hands with her cane, but he was able to get keys and gained entry into the attached garage. 

Police quickly arrived at the residence and found the suspect male still in the garage. Reportedly armed with an axe and a hammer the suspect male became combative towards the officers. 

“The officers attempted to negotiate with the male to drop the weapons, however he allegedly made it clear that he wasn’t going to jail and would do anything to prevent that," says Cst. Kelly Brett. ‘The officers used a Conducted Electrical Weapon in an effort to subdue the male, however had to deploy the device twice as the male continued to fight with police.’”

Police say 34-year-old Justin Inverarity, of Vernon, was taken into custody and has since been charged with break and enter, attempted theft of a motor vehicle, mischief, assault and breach of probation. Inverarity was held in custody until his next court appearance July 12th.

“The actions of the man clearly could have resulted in serious injuries to himself, the victim, or our officers," says Acting Operations Officer, Sgt. Tory Romailer. "We commend our officers for their quick response and ability to re-solve a violent situation safely."