Armed robbery prompts partial evacuation of Fairview shopping centre
The Bay at the Fairview Pointe-Claire shopping centre was evacuated late Sunday afternoon following an armed robbery in its jewelry department. Montreal police said that two suspects entered the Bay wearing ski masks. They smashed a number of glass counters in the department around 4:30 p.m., stealing the objects that were inside. The individuals were only in the store for a few seconds, according to police. They then fled the scene on foot, heading east, police spokesperson Const. Raphael Bergeron said.
Bergeron added no gunshots fired during the incident, contrary to earlier reports.
Montreal police remain on the scene. (Kate McKenna/CBC)
Panic spreads to other stores
The sound of the glass display cases smashing frightened shoppers and some believed the noise came from gunshots. Fear spread as people fled into the parking lot and neighbouring stores locked their doors with customers inside. Hamad Khudhair, who works at Clarks Shoes at the shopping centre, said employees there started panicking.
“I was in my store working and I saw people running,” said Khudhair. “Stores started to lock their doors and lock their gates, and we started to panic so we closed our doors and our store.”
After the initial scare, a clearer picture began to emerge.
“We went out in front of the store and we asked the people in front of us what was going on,” said Victoria Forgues, who works at The Children’s Place. “And they said that someone was in the Bay with a hammer and they smashed one of the tables and it shattered completely.”
Police are still searching for the suspects and could not confirm what exactly was taken from the Bay. A large perimeter has been set up surrounding the store and investigators are reviewing video surveillance footage. It is not the first time a store in the shopping centre has been robbed for its jewelry. In 2015, 2014 and 2010 the Birks store saw robbers make off with jewlery after using pepper spray on a security guard.
Police say they’ll investigate any possible connection.