An armed robbery investigation where staff were bear sprayed in the face last fall has resulted in charges.
According to a release from the Vancouver Police Department, two suspects have been arrested and charged in connection to a violent robbery on Howe Street last year.
Last fall, VPD released store security footage and appealed to the public to help identify two robbery suspects who used bear spray at a clothing boutique. The footage shows a man and a woman collaborating to commit what police call a violent crime that “injured and traumatized two employees.”
Tips from the public resulted in two arrests last week, according to the VPD. Elliot Daryl Cassels, 29, has been charged with robbery and possession of a weapon, and 22-year-old Jolesa Isabelle Ascon-Ramos was charged with robbery.
According to police, a woman entered the store and started browsing. “She selected a purse and briefly posed in a mirror,” VPD said in a statement. While staff members were distracted, the male accomplice entered the store.
“When the woman tried to leave without paying, the man sprayed the staff in the face, grabbed clothing off the rack, then ran out.”
“Everything about this crime was pre-meditated and we know from experience that criminals like this often strike multiple times before they get caught,” said VPD Sergeant Steve Addison.
“The impacts of violent crime are long-lasting, not just on victims, but throughout the entire community,” said Sergeant Steve Addison. “Investigations can take time, but we will continue to be unrelenting in our pursuit of people whose actions undermine our sense of safety.”
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With files from Amir Ali.