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Penticton  

RCMP looking for witnesses after the owner of Penticton ice cream shop was attacked by robbers

Senior attack witness sought

UPDATED: 4:50 p.m.

Penticton police are asking for witnesses to come forward from Wednesday morning's attack and robbery of a business owner at an ice cream shop downtown.

Front-line officers from Penticton RCMP responded to a report of an assault and robbery at the Ogo’s Ice Cream shop,166 Main Street, at around 6:20 a.m.

Multiple police officers immediately arrived along with Police Dog Services, a General Investigative Team, Forensic Identification Services, and other units.

The 70-year-old business owner was prepping the store early in the morning when two unidentified men entered into the store. Both men approached the victim, demanding she open the cash register. In the process of the robbery, one of the men assaulted her with a weapon.

The two men took the entire cash register, along with other food items.

The first male was described as wearing a black mask, grey hoodie sweater, grey sweat pants, and white high-top runners. The second male was described as wearing a black mask and black sweatshirt.

The victim was treated at the scene by BC Ambulance for serious, non-life-threatening injuries.

“Many local RCMP resources have been assigned to investigate this serious incident. There was heavy pedestrian traffic at the time, and encourage anyone who may have seen, heard, or captured on video anything which may be related, to contact us directly,” Cst. James Grandy, spokesperson for the Penticton RCMP said in a press release.

If you witnessed this incident, or have any other information, call the Penticton RCMP at 250-492-4300. Or remain completely anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


ORIGINAL: 11:40

A brazen, violent assault occurred early Wednesday morning in Penticton, with two masked men allegedly breaking into a store with hammers and attacking its 70-year-old owner.

Ogo’s Ice Cream, located downtown across the street from city hall, was being prepped for the day by the owner, Sharon Brown. Her daughter, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, spoke with Castanet after the incident happened.

“She was prepping, she heard some noises at the back door. What it ultimately ended up being was two men in ski masks and gloves, coming down through the back of the business, they had broken in using tools because the back door is a metal door which is secured by a deadbolt,” she explained.

“So they gained access, they came in. Sharon was obviously taken off guard, and so was yelling at them to you know, ‘Get out.'"

The two men told Sharon that if she didn't stop screaming, they were going to hit her.

They then attacked with the hammer.

"I don't know how many times. I wasn't there and the details are a little foggy," the daughter said.

Even while being brutally attacked by the two men, Sharon kept telling them to leave.

“And they said ‘If you don't stop screaming, we're going to stab you.’”

The robbers tried to get into the cash register but were unable to, so just picked up the whole thing and ran off through the back door.

"Her business is right across from City Hall. It was 6:30 a.m. this morning, so it wasn't dark. There was no cover of darkness. Nothing like that.”

After the men left Sharon was able to call 911 and she was taken to the hospital, where she remains awaiting x-rays and stitches.

“I would like for these people to be caught. I'm angry and I am really upset at what has happened. It's shocking to me that this could happen in the daytime,” she added. “I just want to get it out there that people aren't safe and you're not even safe behind a locked door beside the courthouse and across from City Hall.”

The daughter is hoping the city will reconsider hiring more police officers for the community, but she mostly just wanted to get the "word out there that this has happened. And that even if your doors are locked in your business, you can still be a victim.”

Penticton City Council held an emergency council meeting last week to discuss Mayor John Vassilaki’s request to immediately hire five more RCMP officers. Council voted down the 4-3 against the decision, but unanimously voted to hire two more instead.

RCMP Supt. Brian Hunter joined the special council meeting to reiterate the high case load local officers take on, calling it "egregious," explaining officers are overloaded.

“We do zero proactive policing in this community because we just simply don't have the time,” Hunter said.

Castanet has reached out to the RCMP for comment.



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