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Machetes, knives weapon of choice in robberies, police say
Rowena Briones and Gordon McMaster own a convenience store that was robbed recently. (Saron Fanel/CTV Saskatoon)
Published Friday, November 9, 2018 5:20PM CST
Several robberies in Saskatoon over the past week have a common thread – the use of knives or machetes.
That includes two armed robberies in the King George area, one at a downtown bank and another on Eighth Street, Saskatoon police confirmed.
A convenience store in the 800 block of 16th Street W was robbed twice in three days.
Surveillance video provided by the store’s owner showed a man wearing a red bandana holding a machete.
He threw a backpack onto the counter and demanded cash from a staff member, making off with $160 and running away.
The same suspect returned a few days later - this time both owners were working.
Rowena Briones, owner of the affected convenience store, told CTV Saskatoon about what happened the second time.
“He said, ‘give me the money, give me the money.’ It was just 10 o’clock and we opened at nine so what money am I going to give him? No customers at that time.
“He had a handkerchief or bandana on his mouth, when he kept on telling me ‘give me the money’ I screamed,” Briones said.
Her husband Gordon McMaster said when he heard her scream he ran out of his office and chased the suspect out of the store.
“He entered a house, I called police and they were here shortly. A couple days later we heard he was arrested,” McMaster said.
There are cameras throughout the store and McMaster said he’s thinking of adding more cameras outside as well. He said he might even get a pitbull and have it sit by the counter.
“I’m concerned about it, I get furious. We’re here just trying to build a business to support the King George area. It makes it hard to stay open when you consistently have robberies or thefts. I pray for the safety of the staff while they’re here,” McMaster said.
Also this month, another suspect robbed two women using ATMs in a pair of robberies. Surveillance video shows the suspect using a large knife to intimidate one victim.
Insp. Lorne Constantinoff told CTV Saskatoon that knives are a menacing weapon.
“Edged weapons in general I think are probably the weapon of choice when people are doing armed robberies or people are doing acts of violence. The reason behind that obviously is because they are easily accessible.”
Constantinoff had a message for anyone working in a store: “If you see someone suspicious you want to comply. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you agitate or aggravate the situation.”
“If they’re asking for money just give them money,” he added.