Store owner fends off knife-wielding robber in Oak Bay

Police arrive quickly to arrest robber at Foul Bay business

The owner of Tomley Market on Foul Bay road fended off an armed robber with a knife at 7:45 p.m. on Halloween. (Google Maps Screenshot)

The owner of Tomley Market on Foul Bay road fended off an armed robber with a knife at 7:45 p.m. on Halloween. (Google Maps Screenshot)

A store owner on Foul Bay Road fended off a robber armed with a knife during the trick-or-treat portion of Halloween until Oak Bay Police could arrive.

Oak Bay Police responded to a call at about 7:45 p.m. of an armed robbery in progress on Oct. 31 at Tomley Market. A 43-year-old man who had been posing briefly as a customer in the store – and wearing a face mask – then brandished a knife and demanded money from the store owner, said Oak Bay Police Chief Ray Bernoties.

The owner managed to flee the store unscathed.

The robber then took cash from the till but when he attempted to exit, the store owner held the door closed from the outside, said Bernoties.

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“The robber kicked the door, causing it to smash and, as he exited, pointed the knife again at the store owner causing a laceration on the store owner’s finger,” Bernoties said. “He also punched the store owner.”

Oak Bay Police officer arrived shortly after to arrest the robber who was still there, physically detained by the store owner.

All the money was located on the robber as was the knife, Bernoties said. The man rode his bike to the store and was trying to flee on it.

“The accused has a history of violence, robbery, and being armed,” Bernoties said. “His face was covered while in the store which is not unusual during this pandemic so he was able to walk around the store for a moment before the robbery without causing concern.”

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The man was released on conditions. He will face several charges including armed robbery, Bernoties said.

“We strongly discourage people from fighting with armed individuals over money as this could’ve had a much worse outcome,” the chief added. “However, there is no doubt that the actions of this store owner were critical to ensuring the suspect’s immediate arrest and return of the property. I’m pleased he is doing well and I’m sure his customers will also be relieved as he is a highly respected member of our community.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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Oak Bay Police Department