A Canadian man has been arrested after allegedly crossing the U.S. border by swimming across a river from the southwestern Ontario community of Sombra, and then walking to a pawn shop and stealing a gun.
The 24-year-old man was wearing a wet suit and fins when he swam across the St. Clair River on Sept. 6, according to a criminal complaint filed in a Michigan court.
After the swim, he began to walk. U.S. law enforcement alleges he was armed with a crossbow pistol and a hammer, as well as nine rounds of .22 ammunition. The objects were later recovered by police.
"After a few miles he began to overheat and stopped to take off his wetsuit. He hid his wetsuit in the wood line along with the crossbow, hammer, and a construction vest," a U.S. border patrol agent wrote in an affidavit.
The man walked from East China, Mich., to New Haven, Mich. — a distance of about 27 kilometres — where he went into a pawn shop and asked to see a gun, according to the complaint.
While an employee was getting a second gun and at man's request, he allegedly fled from the store with the gun.
The theft prompted two nearby schools to go into lock down, officials said in a statement, while law enforcement responded to the theft and recovered the weapon.
The man said he was a Canadian citizen and said he crossed the river to obtain a firearm because he had previously been convicted of a firearm offence in Canada and had his weapon confiscated.
When he was located by law enforcement, the gun was loaded, which it was not at the time of the theft, officers allege.