Armed RCMP officers combed through part of the Kelowna’s downtown core looking for a man late Monday afternoon. —Image: Sydney Morton/Capital News

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

Update: 7:21 p.m. — The Kelowna RCMP General Investigation Section is investigating an armed robbery at a Kelowna escort agency in the city’s downtown core.

On Monday 4:26 pm, RCMP received a report of a robbery at the Garden of Eden located in the 300-block of Lawrence Avenue.

GIS robbery investigators, who are in the early stages of their investigation, have learned that two masked men entered the business armed with firearms. An undisclosed amount of cash was stolen from the premises and the suspects reportedly fled eastbound on Lawrence Avenue.

“Physical evidence at the scene suggests that a firearm was discharged inside the business during this brazen daytime robbery,” said RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “Remarkably, no one was reportedly injured at the scene.”

A search for the armed suspects was conducted by uniformed general duty officers and plain clothes officers, supported by the police dog services section of the Kelowna regional RCMP, however the search was unsuccessful.

Investigators are asking area businesses to review their video surveillance footage for anything that may be of interest to police.

Police are also asking anyone with any information to contact Cst. Steve McBride of the Kelowna RCMP General Investigation Section at 250-762-3300. Or to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 and leave a tip, or do so online at www.crimestoppers.net or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.

The owner of the business Arnie Miller declined to comment on the robbery, saying he would leave that to the RCMP. But he said no one was injured in the incident.

Update: 6:03 p.m.— Traffic is now believed to be getting through on Lawrence Avenue between Pandosy and Water Streets. But there is still a police presence in the areas and one of the lanes on Lawrence is still in still blocked by the RCMP.

Update: 5:24 p.m. — The RCMP have now off blocked off Lawrence Avenue, between Pandosy Street and Water Street in downtown Kelowna as they continue what appears to be a search in the area using a police dog.

Officers were seen with guns drawn—some carrying rifles—and are asking the public to avoid the area, which also contains the Chapman Parkade. The parkade was closed for a while during the early stages of the search and police now appear to be letting vehicles exit.

Officers were seen combing through back alleys in the area.

Original story: Kelowna RCMP have part of Lawrence Avenue downtown closed off at this hour as they hunt for a man.

Police were seen in the area with guns drawn near the corner of Lawrence and Pandosy late Monday afternoon and a police dog was being used in what appeared to be a search.

Reports from the scene say a man is being sought after leaving the Garden of Eden, an escort service on Leon Avenue.

Police on the scene would not give details of why the man is being sought or if he was armed, but they are asking the public to stay away from the area.

More to come.

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Image: Sydney Morton/Capital News

Image: Sydney Morton/Capital News Image: Sydney Morton/Capital News

Image: Sydney Morton/Capital News

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