Wednesday April 23, 2014

Drunks, robbery keep police busy Saturday night

An armed robbery, a suspicious fire and several drunken people kept Kamloops RCMP busy overnight Saturday.

By the time the dust settled Sunday morning, Mounties had responded to 60 calls in a 10-hour period. Cpl. Wayne Chung said this wasn't the busiest RCMP have been, but it's up there.

"They (constables) weren't sitting around doing paperwork. They were working. They were busy," said Chung.

Police, along with a dog unit, were dispatched to a robbery at the Mac's convenience store on Tranquille Road at about 3 a.m. A man wearing a blue hoodie and grey jersey who was armed with a knife grabbed a handful of cash and fled the store on foot.

Chung said the suspect is 20 to 25 years old with dark hair and a lazy left eye.

"This was probably someone looking for a quick fix," he said, adding the crime could be drug related.

An investigation is ongoing.

At about the same time, police and firefighters were dispatched to a fire at the John Howard Society-run building called The Lighthouse in Valleyview.

Kamloops Fire and Rescue contained the blaze to the one unit. Assistant chief Les Noel said it's believed one of the tenants started the fire in his room.

The man ran from the building, but RCMP picked him up nearby. Chung said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

As if RCMP weren't busy enough, officers were repeatedly dispatched to the 700 block of St. Paul Street because of numerous complaints about drunken people who were unable to care for themselves.

Several were held in custody until they were sober. Chung said an assault might have occurred, as someone was taken to Royal Inland Hospital. However, police had to wait for the person to sober up before continuing the investigation.

"They were very minor injuries," he said.

Chung said other calls didn't amount to anything substantial.

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