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Attempted robbery turns into bomb scare
Published Friday, February 22, 2013 12:26PM MST
Last Updated Friday, February 22, 2013 12:41PM MST
Calgary Police say that a break in at a southeast gun shop turned into a frightening situation that shut down a section of a busy road during Friday morning’s commute.
Officers were initially called to a gun shop in southeast Calgary where thieves had attempted to break through into the building with a truck.
Their target was the huge stockpile of firearms inside The Shooting Edge, a gun shop and shooting range located on 7600 Blackfoot Trail S.E.
The owner, J.R. Cox, says he got the call at around 5 a.m.
“They told me they had an alarm and that I should get down because it wasn’t a false alarm.”
Cox says once the police investigated the scene with a K9 unit, he went in to review the security video.
“The review of the video was pretty simple – a big, monster, F-350 tried to back its way in. Our external security stopped them, as its supposed to do. They basically did a lot of external cosmetic damage and they were forced to leave the vehicle nearby.”
Cox says that the video revealed something sinister about the thieves’ motives.
“When the vehicle came to an abrupt stop, two devices fell out of the back that turned out to be firebombs.”
He says he didn’t even know what the devices were until they were shown burning on the video.
Cox says that that makes it seem like the thieves wanted to rob the store, then burn it down to cover their tracks.
He also has concern about his employees and hopes that police will take notice of the seriousness of the issue.
“One of my managers said there were two vans sitting outside her house this morning. So, we’re really concerned we’re being targeted as well.”
Police haven’t yet confirmed the existence of any incendiary devices nor why they shut down Blackfoot Trail for several hours.
Blackfoot Trail was shut down between Heritage Drive and Glenmore Trail on Friday morning, causing massive delays for commuters along the route.
School officials at West Island College closed the facility temporarily during the incident, but have since reopened.
Cox says he is very happy with how his security system fared.
“We don’t sell cotton candy. We know that, so for the public’s safety, we’ve invested a lot of money in a very layered security system. You have to fight through multiple layers to get in and once you’re in, you need to fight through multiple layers.”
This is the first incident he’s had at his location and he’ll be looking at beefing up the security even more because the attack uncovered a few potential weak spots.
He says that the incident won’t affect his business that much because they’ll be shifting customers to use the back entrance.
This isn’t the first time thieves have broken into a gun shop in Calgary.
Last October, thieves used a truck to smash their way into the Calgary Shooting Centre.
Once inside, they stole 37 guns, only seven of which have been recovered.
Police arrested two men earlier in February in that incident and are still seeking a third.