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Multiple Recent Armed Robberies in Halton Hills Raise Concerns

Two recent incidents involving a firearm being pointed at storefront clerks raise concerns about employee safety in Halton Hills. The most recent occurred on Tuesday Jan. 16 at about 10:45 am, when a suspect described as a white male of average build attempted to hold up Acton Discount Vape, located at 52 Mill Street East in Acton. The suspect was thwarted by the actions of an employee slamming the till shut. According to the Halton Police report: “A handgun was observed...Suspect fled after a short time.”

According to store owner SangWon Bak: “He tried to lock the front door but wasn't able to. Our employees are trained to give the robber everything but Mina thought it was a prank, it looked like a toy gun to her. A tenant upstairs called 911 after he heard the man yelling at her to open the till and her yelling back 'no'.”

An earlier incident involving a gun-point robbery at the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Mill Street in Georgetown occurred on Thursday Jan. 12, about 7:15 pm. According to the Halton Police report, a “suspect described as a white male, entered the store and pointed a firearm and threatened physical injuries were reported.”

Kaitlyn Young was working in the Thrift Store at the time of the robbery. Here's how she saw the event unfold: “He [the suspect] had on a grey hoody with the draw strings pulled up tight and a bandana pulled up right to his eyes. I got a very rough feeling about him because he came in and covered up right away. Within seconds he was at the register demanding money “before I blow your heads off.” That literally sticks with me and that's the one thing that really gets to me. “

“It was my coworker who was behind the register at first but she does not have access to open the till. I had to walk behind the robber around the cash register and open the till and hand him the money. I'm not sure of the exact dollar amount but it was over $500.”

Young also talked about the gun being pointed at her and her fellow employees. “I'm concerned about how often this is happening. Never did I think this was going to happen to me or my coworkers. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Nothing prepares you for having a gun drawn on you. The gun was pointed directly at my head/face from approximately two feet away. It looked like a chunky gun, that's exactly what I said to the police officers, and I was not sure if it was real or not.. but I don't know my guns well.. it looked like a chunky hand gun.”

Young is taking some time off to process the event but is encouraged by the support she's getting. “My boss was amazing, checked on me every day. My doctor has insisted I take this week off until I start therapy. But I hope to return to work at the end of the month.”

SangWon Bak of Acton Discount Vape has some advice to other store owners and employees if they experience a similar scenario. “Keep extra cash stored away, this happened in broad daylight. If something like this happens to you give them everything they want. Your life is most important.”

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