Kamloops Mounties are investigating another downtown robbery — the fourth in the past three weeks.
A man brandishing a knife and a hammer entered the McCleaners laundromat in the 400-block of Seymour Street at about 11:30 a.m. on Monday and demanded money from the cash register.
RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said the clerk opened the register and the suspect took the money and left on foot.
The clerk was not injured.
Police responded about two minutes later, after the robbery was called in from the business.
The RCMP searched the area by foot and vehicle, but no suspect was found, Shelkie told KTW, adding that police are looking for video surveillance footage from nearby businesses.
The suspect is described as standing 5-foot-10 and is either First Nations or white. He was wearing a grey hoodie with stripes on the lower sleeves, jeans and black runners. No photo of the suspect is available at this time, but police hope to have one available by the afternoon.
Mounties have reported one downtown robbery each week dating back to Jan. 9, when a man with his face covered stole money from the cash register at MovieMart.
The video rental store at St. Paul Street and Fourth Avenue was robbed again 10 days later under similar circumstances — a masked man armed with a knife entered the store, jumped the counter and demanded cash.
On Jan. 20, the adult store Whispers, located on Seymour Street across the street from McCleaners, was robbed by a masked man brandishing a knife.
While aware of some similarities between the robberies — all involved knife-wielding suspects entering businesses in a specific area of the downtown — Shelkie said there is no evidence connecting them, so police cannot say if they are related.
Police recommend business owners take steps to try to prevent robberies, such as keeping a small amount of cash on site and storing it in a safe, making the store’s interior easily visible by not over-saturating the windows with posters and refusing to take high-denomination bills.
Shelkie added that crime can be cyclical and any number of reasons may be behind the recent rash of robberies.
“It could be it is the same person doing the robberies. It could be copycat robberies,” Shelkie said.
Anyone with any information on any of the robberies is asked to contact Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 to leave an anonymous tip.