Prairie Inn clerk thwarts robbery by taking man’s gun

Central Saanich Police seeking public's help in identifying suspect.

Central Saanich Police are looking for the public’s help in identifying this man

Neve Kary says she thought someone was joking when they came into the Prairie Inn Cold Beer and Wine Store on Nov. 6, asking for money.

She would later prevent a theft by taking control of the man’s gun, which turned out to be a replica.

A man entered the store near closing time with what appeared to be a silver revolver and pointed it at Kary. She said when he first came in, she thought it was a joke. She said being a block away from the police station and with his nervous demeanour, it just wasn’t something she expected.

Kary said the man came up to the till and told her to put the cash drawer in a bag to which she said ‘no,’ laughing a bit, still thinking it was a joke. But with his more serious tone, asking again and pointing a gun at her face, she said she started to realize what was actually going on.

Being a newer employee, Kary said she struggled to open the cash drawer and told him she couldn’t focus with the gun pointed at her, to which the man backed it away.

When Kary opened the cash drawer, she said it seemed as if the man got anxious and leaned over the counter to help. He opened the bag with both hands, she said, leaving the gun on the counter.

Kary then saw the opportunity to grab it.

“It was all just autopilot,” she said. “I knew if I could just grab it without him noticing that I saw it that I could just get it and defuse the whole situation.”

Central Saanich Police arrived at the store just before 11 p.m. However the suspect had fled.

After realizing he no longer had any leverage, Kary said the man ran out the door.

Kary said there was one customer towards the back who had crouched down when he heard the man. There were no other employees with Kary at the time.

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating the man.

He is described as a heavy set, Caucasian male between 5’7” and 5’8” and is described as being between 23 and 30 years old. He was said to be wearing a black, newer-looking motorcycle helmet when he entered the building, along with a black fleece jacket, black track pants and wire rimmed rectangular glasses with thick lenses.

If anybody has any information regarding the robbery, they are asked to contact Central Saanich Police Service at 250-652-4441 and quote file number 15-3908.