A man accused of going on a weekend crime spree that included threatening a gas station employee with a hypodermic needle and pepper-spraying Walmart employees was nabbed with the help of an off-duty Mountie.
RCMP said they first got wind of what evolved into a string of crimes on June 3 at 6:09 a.m. when a Kelowna gas station was robbed.
“The suspect threatened staff with a hypodermic needle before escaping with a carton of cigarettes,” RCMP said in a press release.
“During the course of the investigation members were able to identify the known suspect male through video surveillance, however, he had not been located.”
Around 4:40 p.m. that same day, two Walmart store employees were pepper-sprayed during an attempted theft of multiple laptops, RCMP said.
Again, the suspect, who matched the description of the suspect from the earlier robbery, also managed to elude police.
Police say he was seen getting into a taxi cab by an off-duty West Kelowna RCMP officer and their luck turned around.
“It was determined that the taxi cab had dropped the suspect off in Kelowna in the 1600 block of Pandosy Street. Kelowna RCMP attended the location and subsequently arrested the suspect after a brief foot chase,” RCMP said.
Robin John Hardie, who has no fixed address but is based in Penticton, B.C., is charged in these two robberies and with breaching his conditions as a result of not complying with court orders stemming from a series of previous robberies in May.
“This co-ordinated effort shows the excellent work done by the Kelowna Regional Detachment, “ said Sgt. Desmond Kiehlbauch.
“Mr. Hardie has put the public at risk with his recent brazen actions and his arrest will hopefully stop him from traumatizing the public and businesses.”