Victoria Police say officers were called to the Home Hardware store in the 1900-block of Oak Bay Avenue for a report of a robbery on Nov. 1.
According to victims and witnesses, a man entered the store and began picking up various items, including the hatchet.
When he tried to leave the store with those items, an employee tried to stop him. That’s when the man allegedly attacked the employee with the hatchet, leaving the employee with non-life threatening injuries.
A barge that ran aground on Quadra Island on Saturday evening did not cause pollution, and is expected to be back in the water this afternoon, according to the Canadian Coast Guard.
The man then came back into the store and grabbed a poppy donation box from the counter while confronting the injured employee. Another staff member was assaulted by the man after trying to intervene, sustaining non-life threatening injuries.
The suspect then fled the store, followed closely by the store manager, who the suspect then confronted with a large rock. The store manager stepped back to avoid getting hit, but lost sight of the man before police arrived.
After watching surveillance video of the incident, police discovered the suspect, identified as Gary Reno, was wanted on outstanding province-wide warrants for sexual interference, assaulting a police officer, assault, uttering threats, mischief and other offences.
After Victoria Police’s Major Crimes Division took over the case, investigators determined Reno was in Saanich.
On Tuesday, Saanich Police took Reno into custody without incident, with help from police dog services.
Reno now faces new charges of weapons possession, robbery and assault causing bodily harm, in addition to the charges related to his outstanding warrants. The charges were sworn a day after his arrest.
He’s due to appear back in court to face the Victoria-related charges on Wednesday, while a court date of Nov. 19 has been set in Fort Nelson.
Court records show Reno has faced jail time for similar offences throughout northern B.C., including Fort Nelson and Telegraph Creek, dating back to 2014.
Police in Victoria say a man who allegedly attacked a store employee with a hatchet he tried to steal is facing multiple charges following his arrest.
Police say an employee who attempted to stop the man from leaving without paying for various items was struck with the hatchet and ended up with non-life-threatening injuries.
The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries before two customers stepped in to disarm the man.
The Victoria Police Department says in a release two customers stepped in to disarm the suspect, who then grabbed a box containing Remembrance Day poppies while confronting the injured employee.
Police say another staff member who intervened was also assaulted and suffered non-life-threatening injuries before the man escaped and was followed by the store manager, who was hit with a large rock.
The department says officers recognized the man from surveillance video and learned he was wanted on provincewide warrants including sexual assault and assaulting a police officer.
Police say Gary Reno of Fort Nelson faces charges of weapons possession, robbery and assault causing bodily harm.