Employees at Edmonton’s Beck Antiques and Jewelry are rattled after they say three masked men entered the store with knives on Tuesday before 1 p.m.
Owner Clinton Beck said the men were holding knives and yelling, “Don’t move.”
“A man came to the door, buzzed our buzzer, and when we let him come into the store, he held the door open, which right away told my staff something weird is going to happen, so they were already preparing for the robbery,” Beck said.
“Three men brandishing knives came in, one of them jumped over the counter, at which time the smoke defensive system went off.”
The smokescreen made it impossible to see and spread through the store in less than eight seconds, Beck said. This spooked the men, who left immediately after, he added.
Nothing was taken, and no one was injured, Beck said.
Police are investigating the incident. Beck said this is the fourth robbery in recent months.
He said they are still repairing a wall at the 50th Street location after a truck drove into it and broke through in November. The smokescreen dispatched then as well, making it difficult to see. The thief made off with about $500 of products, Beck said.
Beck said they are now working to add even more security measures to all three locations.
“Basically, we are building a completely enclosed bulletproof glass bunker so that staff will no longer be in direct contact with the customers,” Beck said.
“It’s getting worse, not better, so we are just having to be proactive instead of reactive, so we are just going to the ninth degree of defence.”
According to the Edmonton Police Service, there have been 28 armed robberies in the city between Jan. 1 and Feb. 9. It’s about half as many compared to the same time last year, but up 11 from the same time in 2019.