A man is in custody after the biggest and busiest mall in Sydney was locked down after a woman reported that a man may have a weapon outside the building.

“We had an individual approach us at the main office,” said Greg Morrison, manager at the Mayflower Mall. “They expected someone outside might have a weapon behind the mall area.”

Cape Breton Regional Police responded to the Mayflower Mall around 9:45 a.m. The mall was locked down while police searched for a suspect.

“We have quick response officers to deal with any kind of suspect with weapons so they were deployed for public safety,” said Sgt. Stephen MacKinnon.

Shoppers were unable to access the mall for two hours while police investigated.

“When I came this morning and they said everything was locked down, I just got in the car and left,” said shopper Louis MacLellan. “I wouldn’t stick around. No one wants to stick around if someone has a gun around.”

Leah Brown and her sister were at home when they received an unnerving call from their father, who works at the mall.

“He just called home this morning and said ‘I just wanted to say I love you. There’s another lockdown and they saw a man outside with a gun and he’s out back,’” said Brown.

“I don’t think anything is safe now. Things are really bad. I don’t know what’s going on with people.”

The mall reopened around 11:45 a.m. after officers cleared the shopping centre and surrounding area.

Shortly after, police received a report of a man with a weapon in downtown Sydney. Officers arrested the man on Charlotte Street; investigators confirm it was the same man spotted near Mayflower Mall Tuesday morning.

The suspect remains in custody. Police say charges are pending.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore