Man who robbed Kamloops liquor store could face up to two years behind bars | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Man who robbed Kamloops liquor store could face up to two years behind bars

KAMLOOPS — A man who disguised himself in order to rob a Kamloops liquor store nearly four years ago — and then asked the two clerks he held at gunpoint to buy him a coffee after he stole hundreds of dollars from their register — could face up to two years in jail.

Lyle Peter Louie, 35, previously pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the July 2014 incident. Louie faces charges of robbery, use of an imitation firearm and disguising himself with an intent to commit an offence after stealing up to $400 of cash from Big Daddy Liquor Store in Valleyview.

On July 14, 2014, at around 8:30 p.m., Louie entered a liquor store in Valleyview. According to the two male employees who were working that night, he wore a “very obvious” bright copper-coloured wig with a ball cap on top, crown prosecutor Laura Drake said in Kamloops Supreme Court yesterday, Jan. 21.

Parts of Louie’s real hair were poking from under the wig, she said.

“When he approached the till he put a bottle of absinthe on the counter, he then fumbled around his clothes for a moment before taking out what looked like a small handgun,” Drake said.

Louie pointed the gun at the clerk directly behind the till and then at the second employee who was sitting on a stool further back. He then made the man who was standing get down on the ground while Louie came around the counter.

“He made ( the employee) take all the money out of the till,” Drake said.

The two employees later estimated to police that there was likely somewhere between $300 to $400 of cash in the register.

Louie then told the two employees he wanted to exit out the back door but he was told the employees didn’t have a key to the back door. Louie then insisted he would exit out the front door but only if the two employees came with him.

“All three men exited the front door,” Drake said.

Either in the vestibule or just outside the liquor store, Louie noted a nearby Tim Hortons restaurant and asked the employees to buy him a coffee, Drake said.

The two employees pointed out that he had just taken hundreds of dollars and declined to buy him a coffee and he could do so himself. Louie then took off and the employees went back into the store to call the police by hitting the store’s panic alarm.

When police arrived around 9 p.m., they reviewed the store’s security footage which covered the whole store from ten different angles and noted areas where Louie touched with his bare hands. Forensic analysis determined the fingerprints on the store’s front door matched Louie.

Police also conducted a search of the surrounding area and found the shirt the robber was wearing in the security video. Blood found on the shirt also matched Louie.

Police later found a hat, wig and imitation gun in a Tim Hortons garbage can, Drake said.

Louie's lawyer, Don Campbell, says although both store employees were under the impression the fake gun was real their behavior when Louie requested a coffee indicated they didn't take Louie as a serious robber.

"They were quite frank, they said 'You've got money now, go buy your own,'" Campbell said, adding that they essentially shooed Louie out the door.

Campbell said his client was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the offence. The security video showed to police shows a person fumbling, putting down the firearm in order to jam cigarettes and things into his pockets, Campbell said.

"The costume he was wearing was not a sophisticated attempt," Campbell said.

Louie was born in Vanderhoof and is a member of the Ulkatcho Indian Band. He is a single father to a 15-year-old boy. Campbell says drugs and alcohol have had a significant impact on his client's life. 

Crown is asking for a two-year jail sentence as well as a DNA order and a 20-year ban on weapons for Louie. Campbell is asking his client to be sentenced to a provincial institution where Louie would be able to attend counselling for his substance issues.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Len Marchand will sentence Louie on February 21.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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