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Lessons Learned – Fall 2008 Convenience Store Robbery

I’ve been meaning to blog about this happening for a while now. Some of you know what happened; most don’t. I figured I should write a bit about what happened since the majority of us in our lifetime will never be a witness to a robbery and there are a few things to be learned from it.

The day was Thursday, October 2, 2008 (technically the Friday since it was past midnight) and I had just left Paul Filek’s show at the Balance Lounge in Calgary, Alberta.

As normally happens, when I’m up late, I get a craving for junk food. So, I stopped at the Petro Canada in Riverbend to pick up some snacks. I had collected a few things and walked up to pay when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a guy walk in the door. I put the snacks on the counter when I noticed that this guy had a ski mask on and was holding a gun, pointing it at me. As he walked towards me, he yelled at me to “Get down on the ground.” So, I put my hands up and laid face first on the floor of the Petro Canada. While I’m lying there this guy proceeds to steal a whole bunch of smokes and money from the clerk. In the back of my mind I’m thinking “that gun didn’t look real.” It looked too flimsy and I had thoughts about getting up and tackling the guy – I was bigger than he was – but on the chance that it was a real gun, I didn’t want the clerk to be shot for some money and smokes so I stayed on the ground.

After the robber left, I got up and the clerk was freaking out and was in the process of dialing 911 (I had to get on the phone with them since his normally thick accent was even thicker and very hard to understand). To make a long story short, I waited there for the cops to show up. They got me to provide a description of the robber (along with 2 other witnesses who were outside at the time) and of the situation. Granted, the description which the 3 of us provided really wasn’t the same. The colour of his mask, what he was wearing, and the colour of his skin – we all weren’t exactly sure.

So, given what happened after the robbery I certainly learned to be more aware of the circumstances in an intense situation like this (a la Hardy Boys) but really I won’t know if I’ve learned to be more attentive until I’m in a similar situation. Which, knock on wood, I’m not again.

Also, if a guy holding a gun (even if it fake – cops later recovered it and it was) tells you to get on the ground…you get on the ground…

Oh and I’ve also learned that eating junk food CAN be potentially bad for your health. In more ways than one.

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