News

Gas stations and pizza spots hit most by robbers

Police were on the scene after a pizza restaurant in Abbotsford was robbed in May 2012.  - File photo
Police were on the scene after a pizza restaurant in Abbotsford was robbed in May 2012.
— image credit: File photo

If you're running a gas station or pizza joint, watch out for Mondays in February between 9 and 11 p.m.

Statistics released Thursday by the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) indicate that those are the most common establishments, day of the week, month of the year and time of day for business robberies to occur.

The figures cover a three-year period from 2009 to 2012.

Const. Ian MacDonald said the stats take into account robberies that occurred at all types of businesses, except banks.

He said the figures reveal that robbers are paying attention to their targets, choosing places that have easy in-and-out access, at days and times when customers aren't as frequent.

Of the 118 incidents recorded, almost 25 per cent took place at gas stations, followed by pizza spots (20 per cent) and fast food restaurants (17).

In comparison, pharmacies accounted for nine per cent of the incidents, while coffee shops recorded four per cent.

The robberies most often occurred on a Monday, followed by Thursday and Sunday – days not typically viewed as peak customer periods.

The most common time of day was between 9 and 11 p.m., when not as many customers were around and many businesses were closing for the night.

MacDonald said, by far, the most number of robberies occurred in February, followed by April, July and August.

"We don't really have a working theory (for why those months are highest)," he said.

MacDonald said a statistic that particularly concerns police is that 52 per cent of the businesses that were robbed had no video surveillance cameras.

Of the 48 per cent who had the equipment installed, many were not using it, he said.

Although banks were not included in these stats, MacDonald said there were five such robberies in the city last year, compared to 27 at gas stations.

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