Kelowna Police stand ready outside of a warehouse on Springfield Road while conducting a search for an individual

Search for armed robber continues

Manhunt for armed robbery suspect who fired his weapon at Kelowna RCMP officers sees trail end in West Kelowna.

Mounties didn’t get the man behind a robbery turned car-jacking Tuesday afternoon, but the owner of the shop where an intense police chase started couldn’t be happier with their efforts.

“I thought they did a fantastic job, I’ve (read) some negative commentary on local  (websites), but I can tell you they did everything right,” said Martin Strasser, owner of Premier Jewelry and Loans on Bredin Road. “Tax dollars well spent, is all I can say.”

Strasser and one of his staff members were dealing with stock just before 4 p.m. Tuesday when the front doors of the business flew open and they were faced with the lone-gunman wearing a black hoodie and white cap.

“He had a mask over his face and he was moving quickly,” he recalled. “He was running down the length of the store yelling, ‘put your hands up, put your hands up’.”

It’s not the kind of thing that happens on a daily basis, said Strasser, so his first thought was, “is this a joke … is this real?”

“To be honest, part of your brain just doesn’t engage right away,” he said, noting it was as he kneeled, following the gunman’s direction that “terror set in.”

After he got Strasser under control, the robber turned his attention to the female employee, and held the gun just a foot away  from her demanding she empty out the display cases.

As she did, a customer walked to the front window and the situation got more dicey.

“He ran up to the front holding out the gun, and she ducked and ran away — as she should have,” said Strasser.

The robber then gathered up all the jewelry, and made a dash for the door.

“The police response time was fantastic,” said Strasser, noting they have panic buttons and neighbouring business owners alerted cops to what was happening, too.

“There were police cruisers on either side so they caught the guy outside with merchandise.”

In their crosshairs, the man dropped the jewellery and ran down the alley next to the building.

“That’s where shots were exchange,” he said, noting he only heard one blast.

“Police were sprinting after him full out. I heard a crack was and they kept going .. they have more courage than I do.”

Strasser recovered the jewelry, ran into the store and dropped the security shutters as the chase continued to a warehouse between Kirschner and Spall Road.

For two hours, police hunkered down and sniffer dogs scoured the area. Helicopters whirled overhead offering a higher vantage point.

Turned out that the robber had actually car-jacked someone to flee the scene, demanding he be taken to a West Kelowna trailer park.

Once there, the driver had to wait as another car came to pick up the robber.

“Considerable Police resources have been put into play in order to locate and arrest this armed and dangerous individual,” said Const. Steve Holmes.

It’s effort, at the very least, that allowed Strasser to stay in business.

“If we’d lost all that jewellery, we would have closeds, and our staff would have been out of work,” he said. “I’m really grateful. I hope they get that guy.”

The suspect is described as a younger male, approx 6′ tall with a thin to average build. He was wearing a black hoodie with a large “A” and “X” emblazoned on the front in white. He had on dark jeans, white runners and a white baseball cap. If anyone has any information please call the Kelowna detachment at 250-762-3300 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or visit to report.


Just Posted

Okanagan College business program compounds opportunites for finance students

The college has recieved Chartered Financial Analysist credentials for finance students

Kelowna torchbearers announced for Canada Games

The torch will be passed to Kelowna Nov. 30

Kelowna RCMP issue tickets during Hells Angels annual Poker Run

The 90 participants were held up in Glenmore

Kelowna’s Little Owl Academy recieved award of excellence

They are one of the recipients of the Child Care Award of Excellence from the B.C. government.

Triple O’s hosts their nineth annual KidSport Day fundraiser

A ‘Stadium Burger’ has been created for the event

Weekday weather update

A look at your Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather for Sept. 24

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

New arts council formed in Lake Country

Get to Know Us Extravaganza is Sept. 29

Don’t feed birds in the parking lot

Vernon wildlife control services owner says feeding ducks and geese, or any wildlife, is bad

Most Read