Santa Claus robber nabbed

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An Edmonton man was caught in costume Sunday after his fourth visit to, and second attempt to rob, Reddi Mart Convenience Store on Grosvenor Boulevard.

After two successful robberies and a third attempt between Nov. 8 and Nov. 19, Reddi Mart was put under RCMP surveillance.

The man was wearing a Santa Claus costume during the second robbery. He brandished a box cutter on both occasions and got away with cigarettes and cash.

A third robbery attempt on Nov. 19 was foiled when customers walked in.

The man returned to Reddi Mart dressed in a Santa Claus disguise around 6:10 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23. When he demanded money from the store clerk, officers identified themselves and arrested him.

Eric Roger Wiull, 40, of Edmonton has been charged with two counts of robbery with a weapon, two counts of attempted robbery, two counts of robbery with a disguise and one count of possession of property obtained by crime.

Wiull is currently in police custody. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 1.

If you are being robbed, RCMP advise:

• Stay calm and obey all of the robber’s commands. Don’t antagonize the robber.
• If the robber produces a firearm, consider it real and loaded.
• Pay attention to details of the situation: notice the robber’s distinguishing characteristics such as: tattoos, hair style, jewelry, clothing, even how they smell or talk. Notice how the robber gets away, whether on foot or by vehicle, and what direction they take.
• Call 911 as soon as possible
• Protect the crime scene by locking the door until the police arrive and don’t touch anything.

RCMP say businesses can prevent robbery by:

• Making sure windows are not covered by signs or merchandise. This will enable others going by the front of your store to alert the police in the event of a robbery.
• Pay attention to suspicious activities around your business especially during opening or closing.
• Adjust your lighting so entrances are well lit.
• Don’t keep a large amount of cash at the business.
• If you have video equipment, ensure it works properly.

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St. Albert Gazette

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