CALGARY -- Call it a case of being in the right place at the right time for an off-duty Calgary police officer and being in the wrong place at the wrong time for two men wanted on numerous warrants.

The officer was shopping in a Beacon Hill Canadian Tire store on Saturday when he noticed a man who matched the description of someone wanted for a series of thefts.

Those included:

  • The theft of a Subaru Legacy on Feb. 14
  • The theft of money from an Erin Woods restaurant on Feb. 15
  • The theft of expensive sunglasses from a vehicle parked at Sunridge Mall on Feb. 18
  • The theft of a clerk's phone from a Husky gas station on Macleod Trail S.W. on Feb. 19
  • The theft of scratch-and-win lottery tickets from four separate stores, including two that saw clerks bear sprayed on Feb. 21

When spotted by the off-duty officer — who was the supervisor in charge for some of those investigations — police say the suspect had a crowbar and bolt cutters in a cart and was browsing the bear spray and pellet gun cases.

After taking the man into custody, the Subaru Legacy was located and searched and police seized a number of items.

Robert Duncan Ellerbeck, 36, is charged with:

  • Theft of a motor vehicle
  • Four counts of theft under $5,000
  • Two counts of robbery
  • Two counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose

He was also arrested on five outstanding warrants and is scheduled to appear in court next on Wednesday.

Staff also pointed out another man who was in the store at the time and acting suspiciously.

As a result, Tyron Perry Stokes, 52, was arrested on 11 outstanding warrants.