A brazen daytime robbery at gunpoint of Fort Richmond Jewellers on Pembina Highway on Wednesday resulted in the owner hospitalized with a head injury and a family shaken.
Owner Daniel Flather, 38, was struck in the back of the head when he resisted attempts to tie him up and needed stitches to close the wound after three men stormed his store in the Fort Richmond Plaza Mall around 10:30 a.m.
David Flather, the older brother of Daniel, said Daniel’s wife said he was being held in hospital for observation and it was not yet known if he had suffered a concussion.
"I was able to talk to him, mentally he’s rattled. They hit him in the back of his head with a gun," David said. "I’m shaking right now. I’m angry. I’m just glad he’s not dead. It could have been a lot worse. But I’m very angry right now."
David said his brother said there were three men in the store and one man waiting out back in a car.
"They were trying to subdue him, tie him up, but he fought them so they hit him in the back of the head. He got away and ran into the mall yelling for help and someone called 911," David said.
David said Daniel then chased the men out the back door of the store as they ran off.
"He fought them. But that’s just what he’s like. He doesn’t like people pushing him around," David said. "He was brave to get away. Brave or stupid. But I probably would have done the same thing."
David said the exact amount of diamond jewelry taken has not yet been determined.
"They knew exactly what they wanted. There’s the one cabinet where the really expensive stuff is, they smashed that and took what they wanted," David said.
He said the store has been in the Fort Richmond Plaza for 35 years. Daniel has been the owner of the store for the past six years after buying it from their father. Their father had bought it from the original owner.
"An armed robbery? Nothing like this has ever happened here before," David said.
He suspected the store’s location may have played a role in the incident since it is at an end of the mall where there are some empty stores nearby.
"It’s been a good location but it’s been a lot quieter in the mall since the Zellers closed," David said.
The store remains closed and police have taped off the store entrance while they conduct the investigation.