Moncton — Codiac RCMP responded yesterday morning to an armed robbery at the Sobeys on Vaughan Harvey Boulevard after a man brandishing a Jamie Oliver bread knife threatened staff and demanded a Jamie Oliver utility knife and paring knife, or the necessary number of stickers required to obtain them legally.
The man, face hidden under a reusable Sobeys bag with eye-holes cut out, entered the grocery store just after 9 a.m. and ordered the cashier at the 15-items-or-less line to give him the 2 smallest Jamie Oliver promotional knives which, according to witnesses, the man said he needed to complete his set.
“He was very calm, very matter-of-fact,” according to 21-year-old part-time employee Genevieve Richard. “He was almost polite, the way he asked me when the next shipment of knives was coming in, after it was clear the ones he needed were out of stock.
“’If I steal the stickers, can I just come back later and pick up the knives?’” Richard recalls him asking.
The Jamie Oliver knife promotion — during which Sobeys shoppers were awarded stickers to exchange for different pieces of a free knife set — came to an end this week, prompting RCMP to warn the public that increased demand for these stickers, coupled with lower supply, could fuel criminal behaviour from those desperate to complete their collections.
“It’s gotten to the point that there is a black market online for these knives and stickers,” according to Const. Raymond Arsenault, adding that this particular crime may go unsolved, since virtually everyone in New Brunswick is a suspect.
No injuries were reported during the incident, but one promotional standee had to be replaced after the assailant, apparently frustrated from leaving empty-handed, punched a hole through Jamie Oliver’s face on his way out of the store.
— with files from Greg Weston —