No arrests made in Circle K armed robbery

Nancy MacPhee
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Police say they have a suspect in the case

SUMMERSIDE — No arrests have been made in connection with an armed robbery earlier this month at a Summerside convenience store, but police say they do have a suspect in the case.

Summerside Police Services

At about 8:40 p.m. on Jan. 5, city police were called to the Circle K on Water Street to investigate a report that a syringe-wielding man had robbed the convenience store/ service station.

“All I can tell you that it is ongoing and we do have a suspect in mind,” said Summerside police Sgt. Joe Peters on Wednesday. “We are still gathering evidence and we are waiting for forensic results on exhibits.”

Peters would not say if the suspect is already known to police.

The man, about six-feet tall and wearing sunglasses and a dark-coloured jacket with a hood, pointed a syringe at the store’s clerk and demanded money from the till.

The clerk responded by passing over the money and the suspect fled on foot.

Police have not divulged how much money was taken during the incident.

The crime, which happened in less than 30 seconds, was captured on the store’s video surveillance, footage that was released by police to the public in the hope someone would recognize the robber.

Peters said the video did prompt “several” tips from the public, adding those tips have helped police in its investigation.

He would not comment on how close police are to making an arrest in the case.

“We have to wait until everything is in and evaluated before we make that decision.”

This isn’t the first such incident to have taken place in the city.

In May 2012, a city man went into a downtown convenience store, demanded money from the cashier and fled. The entire incident, which was caught on the store’s video surveillance, took 26 seconds.

On Nov. 9, 2011, a man entered Pope Road Variety and threatened the female clerk with a needle and left the store with an undisclosed amount of money, the clerk locked the door and called 911. That store didn't have video surveillance.

In January of 2011, a man threatened staff at the Canadian Tire on Granville Street with a needle after he was accused of shoplifting. His image was caught on video surveillance. While a suspect was arrested, there has been no conviction in the case.

In August 2007, another city man was sentenced to 38 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to armed robbery.

He went into Need's Convenience a month earlier and threatened a male employee with a syringe he used just hours earlier to inject himself with drugs.

There was a short fight between the robber and the employee before the thief overpowered the man, pushing him to the floor and making off with almost $400.

Peters said this most recent incident did leave the store’s clerk shaken.

“Certainly in this case the clerk did everything correct and was taken back with the event,” he added. “To my knowledge he is fine.”

He offered up advice to anyone who may find be in a similar situation.

“Be non-confrontational. Comply with their requests. Try and observe as much detail as possible and call 911 immediately after the suspect has left.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 902-436-1201 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Organizations: Circle K, Canadian Tire, Crime Stoppers

Geographic location: Water Street, Granville Street

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