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Man pleads guilty to robbery where downtown Vancouver shop owner was stabbed

Click to play video 'Vancouver Police release results of crackdown on violent store thefts downtown' Vancouver Police release results of crackdown on violent store thefts downtown
(Feb. 20, 2020) WATCH: Shopkeeper at 888 Mini Market described violent robbery – Feb 20, 2020

Vancouver police say a man will spend two years behind bars after pleading guilty to robbing a downtown convenience store last fall and repeatedly stabbing the shopkeeper.

Gidu Nam, who operates the 888 Mini Market on Beach Avenue, told Global News he had to take time off work after the Oct. 21 incident.

READ MORE: Vancouver police change tone on rise in violent shoplifting incidents

Nam was stabbed in both arms, and said the knife came close to his eye at one point.

Police say Dillon Gosnell, 45, pleaded guilty to a single count of robbery.

The robbery and assault came as downtown merchants reported an increase in robberies, violence and theft.

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Click to play video 'VPD admit to increase of sometimes violent shoplifting' VPD admit to increase of sometimes violent shoplifting
VPD admit to increase of sometimes violent shoplifting – Dec 10, 2019

At the time, police said they hadn’t noticed an increase in thefts downtown.

Weeks later the department changed its tone and acknowledged “an increase in people being brazen and violent during shoplifts.”

READ MORE: More downtown Vancouver store owners say violent shoplifting is getting worse

Police revealed they had been operating a three-week sting operation aimed at shoplifters and cited operational security to explain their earlier comments.

In February, police said they had made 26 arrests and recommended more than 150 charges as the result of a three-month operation targeting violent property crime.

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