A fifth Subway sandwich shop robbery in Abbotsford, this time hours before closing, has police concerned that the perpetrators are becoming more brazen.
The subway in the 32600 block of George Ferguson Way was robbed at gunpoint on Monday at 8:40 p.m. Three of the four prior robberies happened just before closing time at the stores, but that store is open until 11 p.m.
“Two customers exited with sandwiches, and bad guy entered with a gun,” said Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald. “The suspect or suspects are prepared to target the stores during operating hours, and not just closing time. That’s concerning.”
There were three Subway robberies in September, the first occurring on Sept. 4. All three happened about five minutes before closing.
On Oct. 18 the Subway in the 1900 block of McCallum Road was robbed about 35 minutes before closing, with a female customer in the store. The woman responded to a police request that she contact them, and is working with police.
“We’re getting some valuable information from her,” said MacDonald.
There have now been four different Subway restaurants hit, with the store in the 2600 block of McMillan Road having been hit twice.
The lead investigator on these crimes is also closely examining video of the culprits.
In Monday night’s robbery, the suspect was described as short, wearing dark pants and shoes and a dark hoodie with the hood strings pulled tightly around his face.
“The only thing visible was his eyes and the tip of his nose,” said MacDonald.
MacDonald said the targeting of a fast food franchise is highly unusual, but now that the culprits have a method of operation he is not surprised to see Subway remain their target.
“In policing, a lot of times you see bad guys stick with what they know,” he explained.
MacDonald said the APD is working with Subway, offering advice on “target hardening” and robbery prevention. There are also marked patrols of the stores and plain-clothed members on the case.
Prior Subway robberies:
– Sept. 4 and 6: 2600 block of McMillan Road
– Sept. 21: 31900 block of South Fraser Way
– Oct. 18: 1900 block of McCallum Road