An intensive search is underway in the Downtown Eastside for a missing police firearm.  A Sig Sauer P226 pistol with serial number U778210 was lost during a foot chase Wednesday afternoon near Oppenheimer Park. A man was allegedly seen by a witness picking up the firearm, but he has yet to come forward to police.

After working through the past 24 hours to exhaust all investigative avenues, the VPD is turning to the public for assistance to find the firearm.  Anyone who finds the pistol should assume it is loaded and take every precaution to avoid touching it.  They should immediately call 9-1-1 for assistance.

The firearm was lost in an incident that began around 3 p.m. on the afternoon of May 23rd, when two plainclothes VPD officers saw a drug deal in the north lane of the 300 block of Cordova Street.  When one of the officers confronted the suspect, he ran away across Oppenheimer Park. The officer gave chase and pursued the suspect on foot through the 200 block of Dunlevy Street, across Oppenheimer Park and into the 300 block of Jackson Avenue, where the suspect, who was hiding in some bushes, was taken into custody.

The second officer returned to the police car and drove to the arrest point a short distance away to help with the arrest. Once the situation was under control, the arresting officer realized that his police firearm had dislodged from its holster during the chase.  A search for the pistol was immediately launched.

An intensive canvass of the area for witnesses and video has since revealed that a man may have picked up the firearm from where it had fallen in the park but he has not come forward to turn it over to police. Investigators are continuing to work various leads in an effort to find the man and the missing pistol.

A bulletin has been issued to local law enforcement agencies about the missing firearm.

Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately, Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477, or the Sister Watch Tip Line at (604) 215-4777.