Caught on camera: Alleged thieves detained by Calgary store clerk
Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, August 30, 2017 7:58PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 31, 2017 7:18AM EDT
Heart-pounding security footage of a violent robbery at a Calgary convenience store captured a fearless clerk trading blows with a man and woman armed with what appears to be a tire iron and pick axe.
The clerk, who is identified by the store’s owner only as Sunny, managed to barricade the pair inside the store before detaining one suspect in the parking lot until police arrived.
A Plus 1 convenience store owner Asif Mohammed told CTV Calgary he chose to allow the harrowing video to be posted online to let criminals know his business is not an easy target. The video shows a man and woman wearing disguises entering the store just before 5 a.m. local time on Aug. 17.
The man, who was dressed in a blue jump suit with yellow reflective stripes and a black ski mask, points at Sunny and appears to confront him behind the counter while brandishing a weapon. The woman, who concealed her face with a bandana and sunglasses, appears to start stuffing cigarette packs into a duffel bag.
With his back against the wall, Sunny is seen holding up his hands in what appears to be an attempt to negotiate with the masked man.
Mohammed said the pair told Sunny to lie on the floor, and the situation turned violent when he refused.
Sunny then made a move for the man’s weapon, removing his mask in the shuffle.
In the video, the woman produces what appears to be a tire iron from her bag. Sunny grabs that as well, prompting the woman to begin kicking him in the head. He briefly grapples with both man and woman at the same time before running out of the store’s front door.
Sunny attempts to lock them inside before dragging a bench, and what appears to be a display of washer fluid, in front of the exit to block their escape.
The pair appears to continue to grab cigarettes, lighters, lotto tickets, and other items from behind the counter. They attempt to leave through the front door, but are briefly kept at bay by Sunny’s hurling of large blue plastic jugs. Then the brawl spills outside.
Mohammad said Sunny happened to be on the phone with staff at another one of his stores at the time of the robbery. The other clerk hung up the phone, locked his store, and raced to the scene to help while multiple calls to 911 were placed by neighbours.
The video jumps ahead to 5:14 a.m. when police cruisers are seen in the parking lot.
Police have arrested two suspects.
Arthur Gordon Bennie, 35, was arrested at the scene. He has been charged with one count each of robbery, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of stolen property under $5,000, disguise with intent, mischief, uttering threats, having an uninsured motor vehicle and operating a vehicle contrary to a disqualification order. He also faces five counts of failure to comply with a recognizance.
Natalie Cory-Lyn Elaschuk, 24, was arrested the following afternoon at a nearby residence. She was charged with one count each of robbery, assault with a weapon, disguise with intent, mischief and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Calgary police said Sunny suffered minor injuries.
Mohammed said he is proud of how Sunny handled the situation, and confirmed he is back at work after taking a few days off.
“He is the hero because he caught the robber and he didn’t get (seriously) hurt,” he said. “If somebody says they are going to rob you, (we) say ‘take whatever you guys want. Take the whole store.’ We don’t care. I care about my employees.”
With a report from CTV Calgary’s Kathy Le