‘We don’t feel safe here anymore’: Store owner shuttering shop after robbery
Days after his store in northwest Edmonton was robbed, the owner of a coin shop said he’s had enough, and he’s closing the business.
On Wednesday at about 3:30 p.m., the shop located in the area of 125 Street and 118 Avenue was targeted by three armed robbers. Police said the three people entered the store and forced an employee to hand over antique coins and currency notes “of significant value.”
The owner of the store told CTV News he was doing housework when his employee texted him.
“All the text message was was ‘robbery’,” the owner, who asked to not be named, said. “He didn’t answer the phone. I called the shop and his cell phone so I got in my car and came straight over here.”
CTV News obtained surveillance footage showing most of the robbery. The store’s owner said two people came into the store and posed as shoppers for about half an hour.
The pair then asked the employee to help them with an item they wanted to buy and the employee came out from behind the counter.
“They pulled a gun on him, they told him to get down on the ground, he laid on the ground and they put better quality fake handcuffs on him so he couldn’t move,” he said. The robbers then covered the employee’s head with a jacket so he couldn’t see before they let a third accomplice in the back door of the business.
The store’s owner said the trio then pulled items from the store’s safe, shelves and showcases, filling up a cart to help carry it out. Then, they fled in the employee’s car, but the surveillance footage doesn’t show their getaway as the robbers unplugged the security cameras.
In an update Friday, police told CTV News the vehicle had been found, but no arrests had been made.
“It was a very brazen act for sure,” the owner said.
After they left, the employee managed to stand up, call 911, hit the store’s panic and then text his boss all while his hands were still cuffed behind him. Police arrived on the scene and freed the employee using bolt cutters.
Now, after losing most of the sellable products in the shop, the store’s owner isn’t comfortable running a business in the area.
The robbery came after robbers used a U-Haul to smash into his south side store in early August, a shooting in his northwest Edmonton store in May, and an assault when his store first opened in 2011.
“It’s not so much the loss of inventory, it’s just the fact we don’t feel safe here anymore,” he said.
He said the shop he’s closing is the longest-running coin and stamp shop in the city.
“It was originally a stamp shop and dabbled in coins and then we converted to coins a few years ago,” he said.
“There is a bit of Edmonton history that is shutting down and that’s a little sad in that instance, but for us that’s the most economical thing to do is close our doors, pull our resources together in one location.”
The process to consolidate the stores to the one location on the south side was already underway, he said, and he hoped the change would be complete by the end of the month.
“We’ve been here for so long and our dedicated customer base has always come back to us.”
With files from Nicole Weisberg