Hughes Car Wash robber pleads guilty

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A St. Albert man has pleaded guilty to robbing a local car wash at knifepoint.

Clifford Ferguson, 21, was charged with one count of robbery and one count of being disguised with the intent of committing an indictable offence in relation to a robbery last summer at Hughes Car Wash, located on Riel Dr. in St. Albert.

On Monday, Ferguson entered a guilty plea to both charges.

Ferguson entered Hughes Car Wash at approximately 8 p.m. on June 2015 while wearing a black ski mask and armed with a knife. He declared a robbery and brandished the knife in a clerk’s face, before letting her go.

The clerk told police that she watched Ferguson reach behind the counter and access an unlocked safe. Other employees who witnessed the robbery confirmed that Ferguson seemed to know where the safe was located and how to open it.

It was later found that Ferguson’s friend was a former employee at Hughes Car Wash. The friend stopped working there two weeks prior to the robbery.

Police used canine units to track down the accused, who abandoned his disguise while fleeing the scene. When found, Ferguson lied to police about his involvement. He has since apologized to the victim.

Ferguson told police he let the staff member go because he could see that she was terrified.

Hughes Car Wash lost $800 in cash during the robbery.

On Monday, Ferguson elected to be sentenced before a provincial court judge. Sentencing will take place on Dec. 5 in St. Albert Provincial Court.

Defence counsel ordered a Gladue report – a type of pre-sentencing report that takes into consideration an offender’s Aboriginal background during sentencing.

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Michelle Ferguson