Alleged robber uses bear spray on store clerks in Duncan
The weapon of choice was bear spray, according to the Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP. A 30-year-old man faces several charges after he allegedly used bear spray to stun four people at a store in downtown Duncan July 7.
RCMP Cpl. Greg Pask described what they believe happened at Heritage Pawn Brokers on Whistler St. just after 10 a.m. Saturday.
“The masked male had entered the store and had bear sprayed four people inside,” he said. “At that time, he then grabbed a display case of various gold and diamond jewelry and fled in a red BMW.”
Pask said the BMW is registered under Ryan Gunold from the Lower Mainland.
The people working in the store said the incident happened quickly, lasting maybe 10 to 12 seconds and Pask said the victims are recovering from the effects of the bear spray. It was the actions of the store owner, Pask said, which helped the RCMP catch the suspect.
“The owner of the pawn shop had good surveillance, kept his head throughout the entire event," he explained. "He was able to give a good description of the vehicle and the license plate, which was crucial in the rest of the investigation, as we were able to fan out that information to neighbouring detachments.”
Members of the Ladysmith RCMP helped find the suspect and the vehicle.
Gunold faces charges of robbery with violence, assault with a weapon and disguising his face with the intent to commit an offence.
He was due in court July 9.
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