Nelson police say the two prime suspects in a robbery at a Rosemont convenience store are in custody on an unrelated matter.
Det.-Cst. Corey Hoy told the Star they haven’t yet forwarded charge recommendations to Crown counsel, but feel confident the pair were responsible for the crime.
Just after 9 p.m. on May 23, a man and woman dressed in black with their faces covered entered Star Grocery, pepper sprayed the owner, and stole cash and cigarettes.
Since then, two people who police identified as the likely culprits have been arrested in a different case, but Hoy said he couldn’t reveal the details.
Nor could he reveal the suspects’ ages, or confirm they are a man and woman, but he did say they are from the Nelson area and have criminal records.
“The public should feel at ease,” he said. “People out at night don’t have much to fear. It was a very isolated incident.”
Hoy said their investigation is still underway. “We’re hoping to [recommend charges] but it’s getting a little more involved as far as using outside agencies’ assistance,” he said.
The stolen cash and cigarettes haven’t been recovered.
Meanwhile, BC’s Independent Investigations Office has completed its report on the arrest of a man accused in two Nelson armed robberies.
The office, which looks into police-related incidents involving death or serious injury, was brought in after the suspect, Andrew Stevenson, jumped off a bridge and fell 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 m) while being pursued by police. He suffered “significant injuries” and was taken to hospital. He was on crutches during recent court appearances.
Kellie Kirkpatrick with the Independent Investigations office said a report was turned over last week to chief civilian director Richard Rosenthal. He will review it and either send the file back for further investigation, conclude an officer may have committed an offence and send the file to Crown counsel for charge assessment, or decide an officer did not commit an offence and release a public report.
The office’s threshold for a report to Crown is much lower than for other police services. As of Monday, it had concluded 69 files with 43 public reports and 26 reports to Crown counsel. Charges have been approved in three cases, while charge decisions are pending in nine others.
Stevenson faces 15 charges in the armed hold-ups of the Kootenay Currency Exchange on April 11 and Nelson and District Credit Union on April 25 as well as break-ins at Castlegar pharmacies on April 18.
He remains in custody while his co-accused, Kristi Kalmikoff, has been released on bail. She has pled not guilty to ten counts and elected trial by judge and jury.
Both are expected to return to court July 29, where the crown has indicated more charges could be laid in other robberies in West Kootenay dating back to November.