Three men who were the subject of a B.C.-wide police alert after they took photos of entrances and exits inside Vancouver’s Pacific Centre mall have been cleared of any suspicion.
“All three men were cooperative with investigators and they had a very logical explanation regarding their behaviour,” a VPD news release said Friday afternoon. “The investigation has conclusively determined that their actions were completely innocent.”
Images of the trio from security cameras inside the mall on Tuesday circulated on social media after the VPD internal bulletin to other B.C. police forces was leaked to media Thursday.
That alert described the men as “Middle Eastern looking” and their behaviour suspicious.
But the VPD didn’t intend for the images or the investigation to be made public, Chief Adam Palmer said earlier in the day while the men were still being sought, because there was no evidence of wrongdoing or risk to public safety.
“Vancouver remains a very safe city and the public should have no concerns about shopping at Pacific Centre or attending any other public place,” the VPD release said.
The alert with images was beamed out by the Real Time Intelligence Centre in Surrey to all police forces across B.C. – 10,000 officers plus civilian employees would have had access.