May 01, 2013 - 8:44 AM
They came in wearing masks and produced a hammer.
It was an unusual encounter for the female employee at Mac's convenience store just before 2 a.m. Tuesday morning when two men wearing balaclavas entered the store on 27 Avenue.
The night shift employee was in the back room when she heard the front door open. She came to the front of the store and noticed two men bending down. One approached the till area and the second went back between the isles.
As the woman walked to the till she noticed a hammer in the one man’s right hand. The suspect ordered her to the ground, and told her to open the safe.
When she told him she couldn't open it, the suspect demanded the money from the till. The employee took the money and set it on the counter. The two suspects then left the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.
RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says the woman was not harmed.
The police service dog unit attended and found a short track that went from the front door, west on the sidewalk to the alley where it is suspected the suspects got into a vehicle.
Molendyk said there is some indication a woman was involved as well. The police are working to see if there is video surveillance to assist in the investigation.
The suspects are described as caucasian, 5'10" to 6' tall with slim builds and believed to be in their mid-20s. One of the suspects was wearing white runners.
Mac's store owner and operator Jaspal Dhaliwal says the employee was a bit rattled but finished her shift.
"We've been here almost a year, and we've never had anything like this," Dhaliwal says. "Our staff know to follow what they (culprits) say."
He says the late night/early morning shift is known to attract a different type of clientele, and that's why the store has an alarm button that instantly alerts the RCMP.
Unfortunately, that device broke, possibly as the flustered employee dropped it. Dhaliwal says he's making sure the safety device is fixed in short order. The employee was able to get in touch with police the old fashioned way, by calling 911.
The police are asking anyone with information about the incident or who may have seen anything suspicious around this time to call the Vernon RCMP office at 250 545-7171 or Crime Stoppers.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)309-5230.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013