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Violent, armed robberies of Calgary pubs don’t appear linked: police

WATCH: Police are advising bar and pub staff to be vigilante, after two pubs were robbed this week. Tony Tighe reports.

CALGARY – Two violent, armed robberies at Calgary neighbourhood pubs this week have bar staff on edge, but police say there’s no evidence this is a new crime trend.

Three men robbed the Hose and Hound Pub in Inglewood on Tuesday afternoon; owner Chuck Rose says it all happened within a few minutes.

“One guy walked in and just pepper-sprayed the whole place indiscriminately,” said Rose. “He pepper-sprayed customers and got staff, then he tried to steal stuff from behind the bar and ran out. Not 20 seconds later, two more guys came in and went behind the bar and began tearing things apart, looking for money.”

EMS was called to treat breathing problems and skin burns suffered by victims of the pepper spray.

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Police are reviewing security video, but the suspects were wearing masks and gloves.

The incident follows another robbery that happened late Monday night, when two armed men robbed the Creekside Bar and Grill in Canyon Meadows.

Just after staff locked up, the men swashed the front door glass with a hammer and confronted two employees inside, demanding money. These men also wore masks and were in and out within a few minutes.

Calgary police say pub robberies like this are rare, but it’s too early call it a crime “trend.”

“At this point there is nothing to link them together,” said Staff Sergeant Brad Glaicar.

All the same, he reminds pub and bar staff to be more vigilant and review security protocols.

“Security systems cameras, making sure their security precautions are all working and up to date, so in the event that this does happen we can obtain as much evidence as we can,” he said.

Rose says in 19 years, he’s never seen anything like Tuesday’s robbery. The Hose and Hound owner plans to review his security processes, but says he won’t be intimidated by the incident.