Two men are under arrest following a robbery attempt on a woman who was with six children at the time outside the Merritt Royal Bank branch last week.
According to a Merritt RCMP statement, a 35-year-old local woman left the bank and returned to her van at about 9 p.m. June 13. There were six children between one and 13 years old sitting inside. A young man then approached the driver’s window.
“The male pulled out a handgun and told her to give him all her money. The fast-thinking female drove off, fortunately, without incident and to the police station to report the robbery,” the statement read.
Merritt RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore confirmed in an interview with the News Tuesday that the woman did not hand over any money before driving away.
Soon afterwards, police found the suspect, 23-year-old Kamloops man Gary Deschamps, with the victim’s help and arrested him.
Witnesses and camera footage suggested that a second suspect was involved, says Dunsmore. The following Friday, police executed a search warrant on a Merritt home to look for firearms.
The RCMP then arrested one of the occupants, 52-year-old Merritt man Bill Nicholson, for robbery as well as firearms and drug charges.
Dunsmore said the Crown could add or remove charges when Nicholson goes to court.
“We’ve laid the charges that we felt appropriate.”
“I think his is pretty cut-and-dried for the robbery,” she said of Deschamps’ charge.
During the search, police found another occupant at the residence, a 17-year-old male from the Lower Mainland. He will face drug charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Dunsmore said the teenager is not a suspect in the robbery and the charges stem purely from the police search at the Merritt home.
“He wasn’t involved in the robbery at all.”