Robberies with violence, just before Christmas

Suspects in custody

Leader staff

Several people from Slave Lake are facing serious charges in two December robberies – both alleged to have involved violence.

The more recent of the two was a Dec. 22 armed robbery at a convenience store in the southeast part of Slave Lake. According to Slave Lake RCMP Staff Sgt. John Spaans, a male person confronted the store clerk with a weapon and demanded cash.

“After several minutes of unsuccessfully attempting to open the cash drawer, the suspect is alleged to have assaulted the clerk before leaving the store with the entire register.”

Police made patrols and detained a couple of people of interest, but released them. But it turned out the culprit wasn’t finished.

“A short time later, RCMP was dispatched to a residential break and enter at a home in the South East,” Spaans’ report continues. “Upon arrival, evidence from the robbery was located inside the home. Not long after the break and enter, the same suspect was alleged to have tried selling stolen property from the break and enter at a local retailer.”

A 25-year-old Slave Lake man is facing charges including robbery with a weapon, assault with a weapon, break and enter and trafficking in stolen property.

Twelve days earlier, on Dec. 10, police got a call from someone saying he had been assaulted and robbed. Suspects were identified and a search commenced.

A week later, an officer on patrol spotted one of the suspects and chased after him on foot. During the chase, the person fired pepper spray at the officer. He got away.

Two days after that, on the afternoon of Dec. 19, a plainclothes officer spotted the same suspect by the Nova apartments (Thompson Landing) and gave chase. The man ran into the apartment building and holed up in one of the units.

“As officers prepared to make entry into the apartment,” said Spaans, “the suspect climbed onto a neighbour’s balcony where he was subsequently arrested.”

The 20-year-old Slave Lake man has been charged with 16 offences, including robbery, assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon. He is set to speak to these matters in Edmonton Provincial Court on December 27, 2018. A court date in Slave Lake will be set at that time.

Robbery charges have also been laid against two Slave Lake men in relation to the December 10 incident. They are set to appear in Slave Lake Provincial Court on January 2, 2019.

Spaans’ report concluded with a plea for help form anyone who has information about these incidents. The Slave Lake RCMP can be contacted at 780-849-3999. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the ‘P3 Tips’ app available through the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

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