Off-duty officer nabs suspected thief
A man wanted by police for numerous thefts and robberies, including multiple thefts of lottery scratch tickets, was arrested on the weekend after an off-duty police officer spotted him in a store with a crowbar and bolt cutters in a cart, while browsing the bear spray and pellet gun cases.
Detectives kicked into high gear late last week after two convenience store clerks were injured during the scratch-ticket robberies. They were able to link the suspect to several offences including:
- Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, theft of a silver, 2005 Subaru Legacy from a parking lot in Erin Woods.
- Saturday, Feb. 15, 10:30 a.m., theft of money from Woods Well Restaurant, 460 Erin Woods Drive.
- Tuesday, Feb. 18, at approximately 2:35 p.m., theft of expensive sunglasses from a vehicle parked at Sunridge Mall.
- Wednesday, Feb. 19, at approximately 12:15 p.m., clerk’s phone stolen at the Husky Gas Station, 4201 MacLeod Trail S.W.
- Friday, Feb. 21:
- At 6:30 a.m., at the Circle K, 7930 Bowness Road N.W., suspect bear sprayed the clerk and stole a tray of lottery scratch tickets.
- At 9:45 a.m., at the Mega Mart, 2104 54 Avenue S.W., suspect stole a tray of lottery scratch tickets.
- At noon, at Browns Grocery, 1201 20 Avenue N.W., suspect bear sprayed the clerk and stole lottery scratch tickets and cigarettes.
- At 2:45 p.m., at 7-Eleven, 8080 Silver Springs Boulevard N.W., suspect stole a tray of scratch tickets.
Investigators were able to preliminarily identify the suspect through the collection of CCTV. The next day, on Saturday, Feb. 22, as the team worked towards locating the suspect, an off-duty member was shopping in the Beacon Hill Canadian Tire, when he noticed a man matching the suspect’s description. The officer happened to be the supervisor in charge during part of the robbery investigation.
The off-duty officer coordinated the arrest of the suspect. The stolen Subaru was located and searched, numerous offence-related items were seized.
Robert Duncan ELLERBECK, 36, is charged with theft of a motor vehicle, four counts of theft under $5,000, two counts of robbery and two counts of possession of a weapon dangerous purpose. He was also arrested in connection with five outstanding criminal warrants. ELLERBECK will next appear in court on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
Another man, who was in the store at the same time, was also arrested on numerous outstanding warrants. It is believed he was not connected to ELLERBECK and that this second arrest also occurred as a result of officers being in the right place at the right time.
Tyron Perry STOKES, 52, was arrested on 11 outstanding criminal warrants.