Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP are investigating a possible connection to a pair of robberies 24 hours apart at Vernon businesses located a block apart.
A man entered Dollar Tree on 43rd Avenue shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday, demanded money and took an undisclosed amount. The next night, at 9:45 p.m., a man entered Subway on 27th Street, asked for money, got some, and took off.
“We are absolutely looking to see if the two incidents are connected,” said Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy.
The suspect in the Dollar Tree store fled westbound on foot along 43rd Avenue. Police were in the area within minutes of the report but could not locate the man. Neither could police dog services. The only description given police was that the suspect had a shirt pulled over his face, was wearing a black jacket and was carrying a backpack.
The suspect in the Subway robbery is described as Caucasian, about five-foot-nine to five-foot-10, wearing a black winter jacket, gloves and a black duffle bag.
He fled on foot northbound along 27th Street.
“Police immediately attended but could not locate the suspect,” said Noseworthy. “A police service dog was brought in but lost the track on 27th Street.”
Both businesses have video surveillance systems, said Noseworthy, but neither had provided the tapes to RCMP as of Monday morning.
It’s the second time Dollar Tree has been robbed in more than a month.
A man produced a knife at the store on Feb. 13, said ‘This is a robbery,’ and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
The suspect in that case was described as five-foot-eight, wearing dark pants, white running shoes, a blue jacket, black toque and was wearing gloves.
“There’s nothing glaringly obviously between the two suspects in the cases,” said Noseworthy, adding she’s puzzled why the business has been targeted twice.
“It’s tucked away from other businesses open at that time, that might be part of the reason. It’s a bit odd they’re targeting the same store.”
Nobody was hurt in either robbery attempt last week, and there were no customers in either store when they were robbed, only staff.
Anybody with any information on the robberies is asked to call the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment at 250-545-7171 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.