February 8, 2016 5:27 pm
Updated: February 9, 2016 9:58 pm

Edmonton convenience store employee assaulted in early-morning armed robbery

WATCH ABOVE: The province is promising to better protect those who work alone overnight. As Quinn Ohler reports, some are calling for immediate action after three violent robberies in Edmonton in just two months.


EDMONTON — Edmonton police are searching for three suspects after a Mac’s convenience store in the city’s northeast was robbed early Monday morning.

Police were called to the convenience store in the area of 40 Street and Hermitage Road shortly after midnight after two masked men with firearms entered the building.

A store employee was assaulted during the robbery and suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

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Officers said a third suspect, a woman, was also involved in the incident. It’s believed the woman kept the convenience store door open while the robbery took place.

The suspects got away with an undisclosed amount of cash and other store products.

“There was actually a customer in the store. We spoke to that person and also the staff member and we’re currently obtaining the surveillance video to assist us in the investigation,” Staff Sgt. Robert Mills with the Edmonton Police Service said Monday afternoon.

Police are now looking for the people responsible for the robbery. The first suspect is described as a man with a slim build who is about 6″ tall. He was wearing a black jacket, blue pants, white runners and a black mask at the time.

The second suspect is described as a man with an average build who is about 5’8″ to 5’10” tall. He was wearing a black jacket with a grey hoodie, grey sweat pants and a black mask.

The female suspect is described as short and stocky. Police said she was wearing a hoodie at the time.

In December, two Mac’s store employees were shot and killed in separate armed robberies at Edmonton locations. Police called the acts that left 35-year-old Karanpal Singh Bhangu and 41-year-old Ricky Massin Cenabre dead heinous acts of extreme violence.

Three people, including a 13-year-old, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Bhangu and Cenabre.

READ MORE: Edmonton Mac’s store reduces hours after overnight murders

Monday’s robbery prompted the Alberta Federation of Labour to issue a media release calling on the province to develop laws to enhance the safety of late-night workers.

“The statistics show – and the headlines confirm – that working alone late at night carries a lot of risks,” Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said in the release. “Anyone who reads the papers or watches the news can see that workers who are alone late at night are being targeted for violence. We can’t ignore incidents like this one.”

In the aftermath of the deadly December robberies, the province vowed to come up with a plan to increase safety for overnight workers. McGowan said while he is glad the government says it will act, “as last night’s attack shows, this legislation cannot come soon enough.”

The AFL said it wants to see the Notley government follow British Columbia’s lead, where retail employers must have more than one person on duty on night shifts, when robberies are most likely. In those situations, the employer can only one have staff member on duty if they work in a locked area, behind a secure barrier.

The province said Tuesday changes are on the way.

“After the previous government ignored this issue for years, it’s time to take steps to better protect people working in vulnerable workplaces like gas stations and convenience stores,” Minister of Labour Christina Gray said. “We will be collaborating with businesses and workers to identify long-term changes to improve safety in these types of work environments. We are also taking some immediate steps to improve safety, including getting OH&S staff into these workplaces to talk to workers and business owners and collect the front-line information we need to make smart, effective changes that work for both businesses and workers.”

Anyone with information about Monday’s incident is asked to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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