Four Calgary teens are in custody after a string of shocking and violent robberies across the city over the past month and the hunt is on for three others.
Calgary police said they’re investigating eight different take-over style robberies that took place between Nov. 19 and Dec. 3 at various pharmacies, convenience stores and vape shops.
Most of them involved the use of handguns and violence.
In most cases, police said suspects approached store and pharmacy employees brandishing a weapon, or indicated they had a weapon, rushed behind barriers and counters, physically overcame staff and demanded access to cash, nicotine products and pharmaceutical drugs.
Not only are employees reporting they have been verbally threatened, but more and more victims are reporting being physically assaulted, punched, kicked and pistol whipped by offenders.
“The level of violence victims are experiencing during these robberies is disturbing and has had traumatic effects,” said Staff Sgt. Kathy Graham in a news release Thursday.
“Watching footage of these robberies and assaults is shocking and our investigators have been working tirelessly to apprehend and charge those responsible.”
Four 16-year-old-boys have been arrested and are facing nearly 140 charges between them, including robbery with a firearm, forcible confinement, disguise with intent to commit a crime and possession of a dangerous weapon. They can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Investigators continue to search for other suspects in these incidents and additional arrests and charges are expected.
In addition, police are again asking for the public’s help to identify three outstanding suspects believed to be involved in a violent pharmacy robbery that took place on Nov. 18 at the Pharmasave at 79 Martindale Blvd. N.E.
Police said the suspects entered and began yelling at staff and customers to get on the ground. One suspect was carrying a handgun and demanded pharmacy staff open the pharmaceutical drug safe and during this exchange, an employee was kicked and pistol whipped by the offenders.
All three suspects are believed to be between the ages of 16 and 17 years old, and were wearing black clothing, face masks and carrying black backpacks at the time of the incident.
Anyone with information about this incident, or the individuals involved, is asked to call the non-emergency police number at 403-266-1234 or contact them via the Crime Stoppers website.