Some alert witnesses helped Langley Mounties nab a luckless robber who had failed to get any cash despite two attempted armed robberies Thursday.
On April 7 at about 11:30 a.m. police were called about an attempted hold up at the Walnut Grove Market, said Cpl. Holly Largy, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.
The man had walked in and pulled a gun, but had not been successful in getting any cash, Largy said.
He was seen fleeing in a white pickup truck.
Just 45 minutes later, a second robbery was reported at the Husky gas station in Fort Langley. This robbery followed the same script as the first – despite brandishing a gun, the suspect left empty-handed in a white pickup.
A short time later, an RCMP officer spotted the white pickup northbound in the 7200 block of 200th Street.
Largy said the truck was driving at speeds of more than 120 km/h and veering into oncoming traffic.
The truck was found abandoned north of 80th on 200th Street, and the driver had run off.
However, witnesses told the RCMP officers who arrived not only which direction the driver had run, but which bushes he was hiding behind.
Mitchell Guiel, a 21-year-old Surrey man, was arrested and police suspect him of both attempted robberies.
A black replica handgun was found in the pickup.
Guiel, a prolific offender, has been charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of using an imitation firearm while committing an offense, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
He is being held in custody and is next due in court on April 13.
Largy said members of the Ridge Meadows RCMP, Integrated Police Dog Services, and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team all helped with the capture of the suspect.
Supt. Murray Power gave special thanks to alert witnesses who helped with initial observations and critical information.
“This was a win for everyone,” Power said.