A damaged Volkswagen is seen following an incident in Vancouver late Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019.

VANCOUVER - An apartment break-in in Vancouver's West End led to a dramatic takedown Thursday night that ended with a silver Volkswagen crashing onto a sidewalk, according to police.

Vancouver police say officers responded to calls for a break-and-enter at an apartment building near Denman Street around 10 p.m., but that the suspects had taken off by the time police arrived.

Members of the Emergency Response Team were in the area at the time, and according to the Vancouver Police Department, it was ERT members that executed the arrest.

CTV News has learned two police vehicles came crashing into the parked Volkswagen moments after several people, believed to be the robbery suspects, got inside. They'd jumped in the vehicle after running down an alley between Robson and Haro streets.

The impact of the collision forced the Volkswagen up onto a busy sidewalk on Denman Street.

Two men and a woman were taken to jail. No charges have been laid and police say the investigation is ongoing.

Police provided few details on the takedown, but witnesses described the sound of several explosions around the time of the crash. Some believe flash bangs or non-lethal rounds may have been fired.

"I heard three really loud bangs, like explosions. I didn't know what they were," said witness Christine Owen, who lives nearby. "I came out and by then there was a lot of police action on Denman."

A police dog and its handler were also in the area and appeared to be searching for something. Police could be seen bagging and collecting evidence from the damaged vehicle late Thursday night.

Little is known about the break-in that prompted the takedown, including what may have been taken or if anyone was hurt.

Many in the area were surprised to see such a serious police response in their neighbourhood.

"Scary for Vancouver and the West End," said Eric Einarson, who witnessed the aftermath. "In 10 years on Denman, nothing like that. Maybe on Granville and stuff you hear about it, but that's scary, scary for this neighbourhood."


Major police presence on 800 blk Denman. Volkswagen GTI sitting on the sidewalk. @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/OckvYFpbx9

— Jim Fong - Vancouver (@jimfong604) October 4, 2019