Police in South Surrey and White Rock are investigating a string of recent robberies – including at least two in which the perpetrator produced a knife.
But despite similarities in the incidents, police say it’s too soon to say for certain that the incidents are the work of the same person.
“We haven’t been able to secure any evidence that creates that link definitively,” White Rock RCMP Sgt. Manly Burleigh said Monday, referring to robberies two days apart last week, at a coffee shop on Johnston Road and a tea house on Marine Drive.
Small Ritual Coffee Society, a non-profit operation at 1237 Johnston Rd., was targeted just after 8 p.m. June 12, when a Caucasian man with strawberry-blond hair and dark clothing entered and demanded cash.
“He just told her, basically, give me all the f––ing money, or I’ll stab you and don’t follow me,” volunteer Rydé Harding said. “She just did what she was told.”
The culprit, Harding noted, was “serial-killer calm.” He walked away with $1,043 from the till and an estimated $200-$250 that had been collected in support of a volunteer who is fundraising for the B.C. Cancer Foundation.
The second incident, in the 14800-block of Marine Drive, occurred around 7 p.m. June 14. It too, involved a Caucasian male in dark clothing who produced a knife, Burleigh said. That individual, however, was not successful.
No one was physically injured in either incident.
Burleigh said a review of recent files indicates such crimes are “quite rare” for White Rock. The details will be compared with those seen in a daytime robbery June 7 at the Booster Juice in South Surrey’s Peninsula Village.
That store, at 15355 24 Ave., was targeted around 3:30 p.m., and police are still investigating to determine if the culprit, described as a Caucasian male wearing sunglasses and a hat, had a weapon.
Businesses have not been the only targets of recent crime.
Burleigh noted his detachment’s Community Policing section is hosting a “robbery information workshop” for White Rock business owners Wednesday morning. The one-hour session will review prevention tips, as well as the do’s and don’ts of how to handle such situations.
Pre-registration is a must. To sign up, contact Julia Everett at 778-593-3611.