A brazen midday theft Thursday, Dec. 17, resulted in three handguns being swiped from a local store.
Two people wearing baseball caps and COVID masks entered Eagle Industries’ gun shop on Kalamalka Lake Road at around 10:45 a.m.
Owner Dave Brown said the pair walked in and spent about 10 minutes browsing, which is not uncommon, he said, amongst his clientele. Staff kept an eye on the two individuals and asked questions but the pair left the store.
A group of three, followed by a group of two, regular customers of the store, then came in. Right after that, the two individuals in earlier re-entered the store.
“While our staff was busy with the customers, these two lifted up the glass on a display case and took out one handgun,” said Brown. “They made their way down the case, lifted another piece of glass and took two more handguns.”
As they were placing the glass down on the second case, a thud could be heard in the store.
That’s when Brown’s employee and son Marcus said to the pair, “Hey, what are you guys doing?”
The pair then bolted toward the exit, knocking over a small display case and almost running into another person. They were seen getting into a light grey Dodge minivan.
“It was obvious they didn’t know the town because they headed down a cul-de-sac, came back blazing through traffic and headed south toward Kal Lake,” said Brown.
Employees called 911 and police were at the store within minutes of the call. RCMP deployed their helicopter to search for the van, which was unsuccessful.
In a stroke of luck, the shop’s cleaning lady had been in just prior to the robbery and had cleaned the glass displays, so RCMP were able to lift fingerprints.
Brown said Monday, Dec. 21, he has taken steps to improve his security, including rebooting a surveillance camera and securing the display cases.
“The important thing is that nobody was hurt in this,” he said.
Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski is asking the public for help with their investigation.
“Police are asking anyone who may have video surveillance of the area, or any other information that may assist investigators, to please contact the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP at (250) 545-7171,” said Terleski.
You can also remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or subitting a tip online at nokscrimestoppers.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 11:30 a.m. to include information from the RCMP