It was probably the last thing Leslie Guilbault was expecting last Wednesday afternoon during her shift at Keremeos Subway, but when a man entered the restaurant, ordered food, then brandished what looked like a gun, she managed to maintain her cool.
“The adrenaline kicked in,” she said of the incident.
“I didn’t like it. My first reaction was to let him take what he wanted, then as he left I thought it might be a good idea to get his plate number, or a description of the vehicle.”
The man disappeared around the rear of the restaurant, so Guilbault went to the back door to observe. As the man drove off, he brandished the weapon once more, although this time he was in the car.
Guilbault is grateful for the concern shown by many of her customers and local commuity members since the hold up. She was a little shaken up as a result of the incident, but said she received some good advice.
“I was told not to let it get to you,” she said. “It’s something I wouldn’t want to happen to anyone else,” she added, noting that she probably won’t be requesting the night shift anytime soon.
Lillian Kyle, manager of the Keremeos outlet, said that Guilbault was intially shook up about the incident, but was coping well. The Subway outlet closed for a couple of hours on Wednesday to allow police to collect evidence.
“It was a little weird,” she said of the robbery, which did not involve the theft of cash.
“If he’d just grabbed the sandwich and ran out the door, he would probably be in a lot less trouble than he is now.”
After fleeing the scene the man was involved in a hit and run near the restaurant, and following that, a head on collision on Highway 3 just south of the village limits.
A 31 year old Cawston resident was arrested at the scene for robbery and is is currently charged with robbery and possession of an imitation firearm for the Penticton robbery and with similar charges for the Keremeos robbery.He was taken to Penticton Regional Hospital with non life threatening injuries.
Michael J. Wicentowich was remanded into custody at the Penticton RCMP detachment, making his initial court appearance on Friday, Dec. 9. He was on bail for a previous robbery out of Vancouver that occurred in August 2011.
After his arrest, police were able to tie him to a robbery that took place a couple of hours earlier at Brittania Pies in Penticton.
Around 2:30 p.m. on Dec.7, a man matching Wicentowich’s description fled the business after demanding and receiving a small amount of money from the till. He indicated that he had a weapon at that crime scene as well.
The two victims from the other vehicle involved in the head on collision were taken to the Keremeos Diagnostic and Treatment Centre. They did not suffer serious injuries.