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Cops look to link heists

York police are looking at a possible connection between two convenience store heists in Woodbridge that occurred just days apart.

A balding, dark-haired man, brandishing a knife as his weapon of choice has been described as the assailant in both incidents, police say.

“The motives seem somewhat similar, and certainly the description,” said Detective Sergeant Bob Wassink of the holdup squad. “We’re looking at the two as possibly being linked.”

On March 16 at about 1:15 p.m., a man, carrying a box and brandishing a knife, walked into the Hasty Market on Hwy. 7 near Pine Valley Dr.

He forced the lone clerk to the ground behind the counter, police say.

The suspect loaded the box with cigarettes, grabbed cash from the register and the clerk’s wallet, and ran to a waiting van, which fled eastbound, police say.

Police describe the suspect as male, white, 5-foot-10 to 6-foot, balding with short black hair and a “chin strap” beard. He was wearing a black winter jacket, white hooded sweatshirt, white pants and white shoes.

The getaway vehicle is described as a white, older-model passenger van, possibly a Dodge.

Four days earlier, on March 12 at about 8 p.m., a man walked into the Busy Bee on Weston Rd. near Hwy. 7 and asked the lone clerk to use the telephone.

Once behind the counter, the suspect pulled a large knife, demanded money and then grabbed a quantity of cash from the register before fleeing, police say.

Police describe the suspect as male, white, 25 to 30 years old, 5-foot-5, balding with dark hair around the sides and back. He was wearing a dark, zippered and hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and a dark-coloured Toronto Maple Leafs toque.

Neither victim was hurt in the incidents.

York police investigators have approached their Toronto counterparts to determine whether there may be a connection with any robberies south of Steeles Ave.

“I don’t believe (Toronto police) have anything similar,” Wassink said. “But that description is unique enough — a little bit older white male — and we’ve only had two of them in that week.”

Police are examining surveillance video from the Hasty Market incident for additional clues, Wassink said.

Vaughan Today
Online: March 20, 2008 [link]