Eight people have been charged in connection with a series of brazen jewelry stores robberies in Surrey and Burnaby, but Mounties say one suspect is still at large.
The first two robberies were at North Surrey pawn shops on May 22 and 31, in which an estimated $50,000 in merchandise was taken.
During the robberies, the suspects forcibly took over the pawn shops by brandishing machetes and hammers, and in one case dousing a clerk in lighter fluid.
"This was an organized goal-oriented group that had no regard for public safety and displayed reckless behaviour putting innocent people's lives at risk," said Surrey RCMP Insp. Wade Lymburner.
Mounties identified a suspect, which led them to an organized group that may have been responsible for the robberies.
Investigators followed the group to Burnaby and watched while they robbed Station Jewellers in the 6100 block of Mackay Avenue, apprehending five people as they fled to New Westminster and Surrey.
Police say the evidence gathered, including stolen property valued at about $30,000, led to charges against three additional people.
One person was charged for involvement in the two Surrey robberies, and police say they are working to identify the other suspects involved in those cases.
Seven men and one woman have been charged with robbery and disguise with intent to commit an indictable offence:
- Jordan Bouche, 26, of no fixed address.
- Kevin Campbell, 25, from Surrey.
- Jeffery Greenwood, 27, from Surrey.
- Raymond Hawse, 39, from Surrey.
- Phuong Thi Le, 21, from Surrey.
- Anthony Nguyen, 20, from Surrey.
- Sonny Nguyen, 19, from Surrey.
- Bobby Prasad, 37, from Surrey
Police say suspect Jeffery Greenwood, 27, has not yet been arrested. He is described as a Caucasian male, about six feet tall and weighing around 166 pounds with blue eyes and a distinctive tattoo of a dog on his neck.
Items stolen from the Surrey pawn shops — including a distinctive Harley Davidson gold belt buckle worth about $3,000 — have not been recovered.