Red Deer City RCMP have arrested a suspect in three “brazen” robberies Friday afternoon.
At about 2:50 p.m., RCMP located the suspect, a 36-year-old from Lacombe, on foot in the 5000 block of 57th Avenue.
“While effecting the arrest, the culprit resisted and a brief physical altercation occurred,” RCMP said in a news release.
“Additional police officers arrived on scene and the culprit was arrested without further incident. The police officer’s uniform was damaged during the struggle, but no physical injuries were sustained.”
Previously in the afternoon, RCMP responded to an attempted robbery at the Real Canadian Superstore downtown. A man had made demands of the clerk at the tobacco counter for money, but the clerk “encountered a problem meeting the male’s demand” and the man fled without incident. No one was injured.
Later, at 1:43 p.m., RCMP responded to an armed robbery at Pizza Hut in the 3400 block of Gaetz Avenue. In this case, a man had stated he had a firearm and demanded money from a clerk, who complied. The man fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured.
Finally, at 2:46 p.m., RCMP responded to an armed robbery at the downtown IDA Pharmacy. Again, a man had approached an employee, claiming to have a firearm, and demanded cash, which he took and fled on foot.
No one was injured in this robbery, but cashier Teresa Hellwig was shaken up.
“This guy comes in and he buys three different things, and then he comes to the till, and he’s flicking through his cards, saying ‘I’m going to rob you,’” Hellwig said after the incident Friday. “He said you need to be quiet, I have a gun on me, don’t make eye contact with anybody in the back, don’t scream, just put the money in a bag, just go on with your day. That’s it. I just gave him the money.
“I didn’t scream until he left the building …”
Hellwig was getting ready to take the rest of the day off of work.
“I just don’t know what to think about it right now. Confused and scared. They should have more than one person working in the front during the day and at night.”
The suspect remains in police custody and is facing multiple charges.