A robber who brutally attacked a female clerk at an Abbotsford convenience store on Sunday night was arrested a few hours later.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said the 18-year-old man is now considered a suspect in three previous robberies, all occurring in less than a week.
Police were called to the latest incident just before 6:30 p.m. A passerby heard screams coming from Granny’s Market in the 3500 block of Gladwin Road.
The woman entered the business, causing the suspect to flee, and police were called to the scene.
Surveillance video showed the suspect running across the parking lot, entering the store, leaping across the counter and attacking the 51-year-old clerk.
The robber repeatedly punched the woman in the face and cut her with the knife he was wielding.
“This poor woman didn’t even have a chance to do anything,” MacDonald said.
The victim was taken to hospital for treatment of cuts and bruises to her face.
MacDonald said police narrowed down possible suspects to one person, and plainclothes and uniformed officers found him walking in the area of Blueridge Drive and Ridgeview Drive just before midnight.
He is now in custody awaiting at least one robbery charge, and is under investigation for three others. All involved a South Asian man carrying a knife, wearing black clothes, and demanding cash.
The first was Nov. 21 at a video store in the 2700 block of Clearbrook Road. The following two were on Nov. 24 at a coffee shop in the 31000 block of Maclure Road and one Nov. 26 at a gas station in the 2000 block of Clearbrook Road.
None of the other robberies involved physical violence, MacDonald said.
“To get a person who was obviously escalating (his tactics) is good news.”
Police do not believe the man is connected to a series of unsolved robberies that have occurred in the community since September, including at five Subway restaurants. In all of the other cases, the suspect is described as Caucasian and usually carries a real or fake gun.