The robberies, both at branches of the EB Games chain, left employees uninjured but shaken, and police perplexed.
The first robbery happened just before 4 p.m. PT Sunday, when two people with covered faces entered the EB Games store in the Meadowtown Centre shopping mall and began firing off pepper spray.
The assailants — believed to be two men — then tied the employees' hands with plastic straps, put them in a back room and looted the store for games and cash.
Less than two hours later, a second EB Games location, this one off 88th Avenue near 124th Street in Surrey, was robbed in a similar fashion.
Police say no pepper spray was used, but the employees were threatened with a machete before being tied up.
Police have not said they are linking the two robberies, but Surrey RCMP Staff Sgt. Warren Tyson said it is a bit unusual for the hits to be so similar, and to happen on the same day.
"I have not seen robberies of video game stores," Tyson said.
"Obviously, robberies occur throughout the Lower Mainland on a daily basis; however, this is first time where I've seen a video game store targeted in this manner."
Ridge Meadows RCMP Sgt. Dale Somerville said his team is looking for surveillance footage from the Meadowtown mall and tips from the public. He also said the Ridge Meadows detachment is working with the Surrey detachment to see if they are after the same suspects.
"With the suspects wearing disguises, the description of the pair is vague. What we do know is one male has dark skin and the other is believed to be Caucasian," Somerville said in a written statement.
Somerville said violent daytime robberies inside a mall is not something that occurs often in either Pitt Meadows or Maple Ridge.
Police didn't say how big of a problem video game thefts are.
The video game retailer that runs EB Games, GameStop Corp., has not commented on the robberies.Suggest a correction