A group of eight Calgary youths face a total of 78 charges related to a two-week run of robberies.
The methods used by the group to steal items like cell phones, jewelry, electronics and food were all the same, Calgary police said — enter the store as a group and start sealing merchandise, while a few members would stymie workers at the stores by throwing merchandise or otherwise occupy the store employees.
Police said the youth committed this sort of robbery a total of 14 times between Wednesday, Oct. 24 and Thursday, Nov. 8.
On Nov. 8, Calgary police were called to respond to a robbery at a convenience store in the 4400 block of Memorial Drive East. Five males between the ages of 13 and 15 entered the store and began stealing items while one youth threw items at the clerk during the robbery.
District 4 officers and the Canine Unit tracked the five youth back to a Forest Lawn home, where they took six youth into custody, police said in a statement.
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Police officers identified the other 13 incidents that used the same swarming techniques and identified two more youth police suspected to have been involved in the previous incidents.
On Thursday, Nov. 29, all eight male youth were charged with 27 counts of robbery, 16 counts of theft under $5,000, three counts of assault, one charge of assault with a weapon, 26 breaches of conditions and five previously outstanding warrants.
Calgary police said the investigation continues to gather evidence and identify other individuals who have been involved in the robberies.