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Subway restaurant robber strikes a third time in Abbotsford

Const. Ian MacDonald outside of the Subway restaurant on South Fraser Way that was robbed Wednesday night.  - Vikki Hopes
Const. Ian MacDonald outside of the Subway restaurant on South Fraser Way that was robbed Wednesday night.
— image credit: Vikki Hopes

A third armed robbery of a Subway restaurant in Abbotsford occurred Wednesday night, and police believe it is the same suspect involved in the previous two incidents.

The first two robberies occurred Sept. 4 and 6 at the Subway in the 2600 block of McMillan Road, while the most recent was at the restaurant in the 31900 block of South Fraser Way.

Const. Ian MacDonald said the suspect description and method were the same in all three cases.

On Wednesday at about 9:50 p.m., an 18-year-old man and 19-year-old woman were cleaning the restaurant just before it closed. No customers were on site when they were approached by a man wearing a black hoodie tied tightly around his head and face.

The suspect held a gun by his side, demanded cash and then fled on foot with an undisclosed sum.

Police officers and a K9 unit on the scene were unable to track him down.

MacDonald said because the man conceals his head and face, police have not been able to identify him through video surveillance footage.

He said some potential suspects have been identified through public tips and police information, but none has yet been definitively linked to the robberies.

A drug addiction is likely fuelling the man’s need for quick cash, and police fear more Subway restaurants – or similar businesses – are at risk.

“Our experience with criminals and robbers in particular is that they are creatures of habit – they stick with what they know,” MacDonald said.

He commended the victims in all three robberies for their “exemplary” conduct in doing “exactly as they should,” including staying calm, following the robber’s demands and locking the doors as soon as he left.

Store owner Manj Gosal said staff are versed in how to handle such incidents.

“There’s always a risk,” he said.

The suspect is described as Caucasian, in his 40s, 5’ 3” to 5’ 5” tall, and with a thin build and a scruffy beard.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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