Armed robbers charged 

Three men have been charged with armed robbery, wearing a disguise with criminal intent, and forcible confinement in connection with a Sept. 15 robbery of the Shoestring Lodge.

The three individuals charged are Ronald Ireland, 35 of Comox Street in Vancouver, his roommate Justin Bourne, 20, and Constantine Clemos, 24, of London, Ontario.

According to the RCMP, three men in ski masks entered the back office of the Shoestring where the night auditor was counting cash receipts at approximately 4 a.m. One of the three brandished what appeared to be a handgun. The three proceed to bind and gag the auditor with packing tape, and moved him into the rear office.

The trio then took all the cash they found on site, some $6,300 in bills and coins.

The auditor managed to free himself and called the Whistler RCMP, giving them a description of one the thieves’ clothes. Squamish RCMP set up a roadblock on Highway 99 and within the hour they intercepted three men headed back to the city.

They were definitely not your hardened criminal types.

"The officers were talking to them about what they were doing and where they were going, and their stories were mixed up," said Const. Jeff Loeppky of the Whistler RCMP detachment. "They were very pale and sweating, apparently. They gave the (Squamish RCMP) the impression they were going to pass out. Then one member noticed a balaclava in the centre console, and the three were arrested."

All the money and a roll of packing tape were found in knapsacks in the trunk of the car. A paintball gun that looked like a real gun was also recovered.

The night auditor was not injured in the robbery, aside from various abrasions from being bound.

Ireland, Bourne and Clemos were charged in Squamish on Sept. 18, and were still in custody as of press time.

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