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Police release images of Fairview Park Mall jewelry store robbery involving axes, gun

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Waterloo regional police are searching for three men wanted in connection with an armed robbery at Fairview Park Mall.

Officers were called to the scene around 5:40 p.m. on Saturday.

"Three male suspects entered a store – two with axes and one brandishing a firearm – and proceeded to smash some of the display cases and fled with merchandise," said Insp. Aaron Mathias.

Police confirmed no one was injured as a result of the robbery and the gun was not discharged.

On Monday, police released images of the three men they're looking to identify in connection with the robbery.

The suspects were last seen leaving the mall in a newer model, dark, four-door Honda Civic. Officers were not able to specify the direction which the car drove off in.

All three suspects are described as being in their late teens or early twenties with average builds.

"Our investigative robbery team is appealing to members of the public. Anyone who may have dash-cam video or cellphone video is asked to give us a call and submit that to investigators. It would be very helpful," said Mathias.

Police are still working with staff at the jewelry store to figure out what was taken and the value of the items.

They said there is no concern for public safety at the mall.

"We just remind people to stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings,” said Mathias.

"We are obviously very concerned with these violent incidents in the community and are resourcing this call appropriately."

Fairview Park Mall did not have to close for the investigation and reopened as scheduled the next day.

Waterloo regional police are looking to identify the people in these images in connection to a jewelry store robbery at Farview Park Mall. (Source: Waterloo Regional Police Service)

COMMERCIAL ROBBERIES ON THE RISE

On Monday, police confirmed they have received more than 98 reports of commercial robberies throughout the region so far this year. The annual average for the previous five years was 60.

Ian McLean, the president and CEO of the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, said local businesses have started to see a shift.

“We’re not the small city we used to be,” McLean said.

“We are close to Toronto and as a fast-growing community, we’re seeing increasing connections to crime.”

McLean emphasized that the region is a relatively safe area to live and do business, and armed robberies like Saturday’s aren’t a common occurrence.

He said businesses are having more conversations about crime prevention.

“It should jar us to say ‘that’s not acceptable here,’” McLean said. “And ‘what are the things we can do together as a community, including law enforcement and police, to ensure they don’t happen?’”

He said increased police or security presence, and taking advantage of evolving technology, are just some measures that could help retail businesses when it comes to theft prevention.

WATERLOO REGION MALLS TARGETTED

Feb. 2 – An armed robbery at Raffi Jewellers prompts police to evacuate Conestoga Mall in Waterloo. Police say four suspects entered the store with hammers and batons, smashing display cases and stealing merchandise. Witness video shows the suspects wearing all black and grabbing items from glass cases. A security guard is taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Three people are arrested. A fourth remains at large as of the day after the robbery.

Oct. 4 – Police respond to a carjacking in the parking lot of Conestoga Mall. A short time later, the vehicle is found abandoned nearby. The next day, police announce two male youths have been arrested.

Oct. 10 – Eight people walk into an electronic store in Conestoga Mall, grab merchandise including phones, and then take off. As of earlier this month, no arrests have been made.

Oct. 31 – Police say they’re looking for four suspects after a robbery at Lola Jewellers in Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener. Witnesses describe the thieves hopping over the counter and grabbing merchandise.

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