2017-09-06

New Germany robbery suspect slated for sentencing on unrelated firearms charges

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>An RCMP dog and his handler investigate the area outside the New Germany Shoppers Drug Mart shortly after the alleged armed robbery.</p>

The Lunenburg County man accused of using an imitation handgun in late August to rob a New Germany Shoppers Drug Mart of opioids and cash is slated to be sentenced this month on firearms charges related to an incident in April.

Robert Brian Sanford, 48, of Elmwood is charged with robbery, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, using an imitation firearm while attempting to commit the indictable offence of robbery, drug possession and five counts of breaching a recognizance. The offences are alleged to have occurred August 28, the same day RCMP responded to a call of an armed robbery at a Highway 10 pharmacy.

Police allege a man entered the pharmacy with what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money and narcotics. "There were several staff members at the pharmacy, and no other people inside the store at the time," authorities said in a statement. "No one was hurt during the robbery and the suspect did get away on foot with a quantity of cash and narcotics."

A suspect was arrested an hour-and-a-half later in a vehicle in the New Germany area.

Sanford is remanded in custody pending his next court appearance in early September. It's on that date he's scheduled for sentencing on charges of forcible confinement and careless use of a firearm, and unauthorized possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty to those charges in June.

The circumstances of that incident saw RCMP summoned April 7 around 1 p.m. to an Elmwood home in response to a woman telling police that a man was "threatening violence and would not let her leave the residence," police said at the time.

"The man discharged the firearm while police were en route to the scene."

Authorities contained the area and established communication with a man, who was located outside while the woman was still in the home.

"At one point, the man pointed the gun at police," RCMP alleged.

Police negotiated with a suspect, who eventually surrendered himself to authorities and was arrested. The suspect was assessed by paramedics before being arrested. A police dog and the RCMP's emergency response team were en route to the scene as the suspect was taken into custody. There were no injuries.

Police seized ammunition and a loaded shotgun.

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