London Police say a 44-year-old man is facing nearly a dozen charges after an armed robbery at a Petro Canada and attempted robbery at a FreshCo at opposite ends of the city.
According to police, a suspect entered a Petro Canada at Fanshawe Park Road East and Adelaide Street North around 5:30 p.m Wednesday. He was believed to be in possession of a handgun and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Later that same day, police say the same suspect entered the FreshCo at Wellington and Commissioners Road.
A witness tells AM980 she was out grocery shopping when she noticed a man at the front of the store acting anxious and yelling before revealing what appeared to be a gun.
“The manager was yelling at everyone to get down,” says Cassandra, “you’re not expecting that when you’re grocery shopping on a Wednesday. There were people with kids in the store as well and I could definitely see they were a bit more panicked. They just abandoned their shopping carts, abandoned everything and ran to the back of the store and got down on the ground.”
London Police say several bystanders took down the suspect and grabbed his weapon. Cassandra tells AM980 she saw one man tackle the suspect just as police arrived.
“Within minutes a random bystander had tackled the man with the gun to the ground, knocking the gun out of his hand and holding him down.”
London Police say the investigation revealed the weapon was a pellet gun.
While police also thank the public for help in this incident, officers encourage the public not to take matters into their own hands but to find a safe place and wait for police to arrive.
No injuries were reported in either incident.
A 44-year-old London man is charged with armed robbery, robbery assault with intent to steal, five counts of using an imitation firearm during the commission of an indictable offence, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, and two counts of assault with a weapon.