In the last 10 days, a total of eight 24-hour businesses across Regina have been robbed in the early morning hours.
In each case, the situation is familiar — two to three men enter the business with knives and demand cash, before fleeing the scene. No employees are ever harmed.
So far, the places hit include various Tim Hortons, 7-Eleven and Petro Canada locations.
On Monday morning, a 7-Eleven employee — who has asked to remain anonymous to ensure their safety — described surveillance footage of the store’s robbery to 980 CJME. They said their co-worker was mopping the floor when two men walked in around 4 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2017.
“First, one person came and he just looked to see how many people were working here inside. He just knotted (his) shoelaces, then (the other man) came inside and attacked (the employee),” they explained, adding that each suspect was holding a knife.
They added the convenience store has been robbed before, but this one specifically stands out because the suspects were wearing monkey masks.
“Another lady just quit her job because she’s so scared,” they said.
Meanwhile, the manager of Tim Hortons on Rochdale Boulevard confirmed with 980 CJME that at least one of the two men involved in its robbery early Sunday morning was wearing a monkey mask as well.
At the same Tim Hortons location, damage is visible on the counter, till and donut glass from what employees believe to be a knife. They told 980 CJME they think the suspects caused the damage before they got away with $100.
A sign on the door of the coffee shop noted dine-in service would be closed Monday night from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.; however, the manager would not confirm if it was due to the robbery.
In another case, a Petro Canada employee told 980 CJME that two masked men entered the gas station with a small kitchen knife and what appeared to be a machete around 6 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2017. They fled the business with cash and cigarettes.
On Saturday, Regina police sent out a news release stating they believe a string of robberies between Dec. 30, 2017 to Jan. 3 were connected. Whether the incident at the Rochdale Boulevard Tim Hortons on Sunday is linked to the other robberies has not been confirmed.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story indicated police sent a release on Sunday indicating they believe some of the robberies could be connected. The actual date was Saturday.