Attempted robbery goes up in Flames

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Pregnant server stands her ground after realizing "sawed-off gun" was a BB gun

One night after staring down the man who attempted to rob Our Flames Restaurant and Lounge, server Megan Wood, who is six months pregnant, was back at work.

She recounted what had happened at about 9:45 p.m. on Feb. 4, when the lone male suspect, wearing a blue hoodie and a mask covering the bottom half of his face, entered the lounge and approached the bar.

“He held up a BB gun that was sawed off at the end to look more like a gun and told me to give him all of my money,” Wood said.

“I didn’t hear him at first and I looked at him and was like, ‘Excuse me, what did you say?'”

Wood, 24, from Didsbury, was the only server working at that time. She described the incident as surreal. In the six-and-a-half years she’d been working there, nothing of the sort had ever happened at the restaurant, located at the southwest corner of Highway 27 and 50 Avenue.

She said the suspect then moved to the front of the bar, threw a backpack at her and demanded cash.

At first, she thought the gun was real but soon realized otherwise.

“Until he came around to the front of the bar and he set the gun on the bar. He set it down pointing it at me and the hole was about that big,” she said, holding up three fingers so her thumb and index finger enclosed a space only a few millimetres wide.

Wood gave him nothing.

“When I told him I didn’t have any money, he said ‘bullshit, you have VLTs.’ And he swore a bunch at me before he left,” she said. “He was really agitated. He was really high-strung.”

The incident lasted about three minutes in front of approximately 10 to 15 people, she said.

During that time, restaurant owner Prokopi Roussakos was on the phone with police.

Roussakos said the suspect appeared “dopey” and added that everybody in the lounge thought it was a friend of theirs playing a joke.

He lauded Wood’s composure.

“She held her ground really well,” Roussakos said. “Then it got to the point where he was swearing at the other customers. I think one of the customers told him to sit down or go home or something.”

Police from Olds and Didsbury arrived shortly but the suspect had fled.

According to an RCMP press release, the suspect was described as Caucasian, slender build, approximately six feet tall and 150 to 160 pounds. The mask he wore was black and white. From his view, Roussakos recalled a skull design.

No security footage was captured because the lounge was undergoing renovations and the cameras were taken down. Roussakos said they’re going back up and he’s making sure nobody’s working alone.

“I’m glad everybody was safe too. At the same time, in this economy, you’ve got to keep your vigilance up.”

Wood wasn’t sure why the suspect targeted the restaurant.

“Maybe because it was open late. Maybe he thought that I would be here alone and he could scare me enough that I would give him the money.”

If you have information about this, or any other investigation, please call the Olds RCMP detachment at 403-556-3324.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1.800.222.8477 (TIPS), by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers [www.crimestoppers.ab.ca] for instructions on how to do this).

You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers, and if you provide information to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest(s), the recovery of stolen property, and/or a seizure of illicit drugs, you may be eligible for a cash reward.

jho@olds.greatwest.ca

“I didn’t hear him at first and I looked at him and was like, ‘Excuse me, what did you say?'” MEGAN WOOD

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