UPDATED: Man charged in Vernon robbery

Click to play video: 'Okanagan business owner stops daylight robbery' Okanagan business owner stops daylight robbery
It's a story that happens all too often: a convenience store robbed in broad daylight. But would-be thieves are unlikely to be returning to a small store in Vernon after word of what happened during the latest robbery spreads. Jules Knox reports. – Jan 13, 2018

A man has now been charged with robbing a Vernon convenience store on Friday.

The owner of a Vernon convenience store stopped 32-year-old Heron Taylor from allegedly robbing his business on Friday.

Surveillance video shows that just before 3:30 p.m., a hooded man entered Charlie’s Grocery near 32nd Avenue and Alexis Park Drive in Vernon.

The video shows him raising a hammer at co-owner Louise Maxwell, who was alone in the front at the time.

“He taps the counter a couple of times and says, ‘Open your till,’ and she goes, ‘What? You’re robbing us?’” co-owner Tom Maxwell said. “And he goes ‘Yeah,’ and she goes, ‘Well, I can’t open the till, you have to buy something’.”

“So he raises the hammer and threatens her, and goes around the counter, and pins her in the back there,” he said.

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READ MORE: Vernon Mounties arrest suspect in spate of armed robberies

Maxwell said his wife pushed past the suspect and called for help, so he came bolting from the back.

“It’s like a jolt of electricity through your brain,” he said of the incident.

The suspect fled the store with the cash box, hammer in hand.

The store owner then followed him to the car, and they wrestled in the driver’s seat.

“Louise opened up the passenger door and grabbed the hammer off the seat and turned off the vehicle and grabbed the keys,” Maxwell said. “And then I pushed him down to the passenger side and I laid on him, and I said, ‘You know you’re not going anywhere until the police get here.’”

But the suspect didn’t give up the struggle, and a neighbour heard the commotion, according to Maxwell.

“He came and opened up the passenger door and pulled the guy out, and then we had him in the parking lot, and we both sat on him,” Maxwell said, adding that he was not even wearing shoes and only wearing socks because he had chased the man out of the store so quickly.

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Police arrived moments later, handcuffing the suspect, Maxwell said.

Maxwell said it was the second time his store has been robbed in a year. He beefed up security after the first incident.

“I understand it’s not a good idea to intervene sometimes, but I didn’t feel the threat level was there, not to at least pursue him or try to slow him down a little bit, just for the police to get here,” Maxwell said. “It all worked out. Everybody’s safe and this guy’s off the street.

“My wife has the day off, but we’re back to normal.”

Vernon RCMP believe Taylor is responsible for the recent string of robberies in the area.

Mounties say the vehicle he was driving was stolen just hours before the attempted robbery.

Taylor has been charged with attempted robbery, possession of stolen property and disguise with intent to commit an indictable offence.

His next court appearance will be Jan. 18.


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