March 2002
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A Robbery? In Winkler?
By Matt Neufeld, Grade 11, Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, MB

That's right...There was a robbery in this safe community that many Southern Manitobans call home. Now, it does not seem that safe when a local gas station has been held up at knife-point.

Ron Friesen, a GVC student, was working his normal evening shift at the Esso gas station in Winkler on Feb. 8. Suddenly, it was not a normal shift. A masked man entered the station office and demanded that Ron give him all the money in the till. The amount was about 500 dollars. Beckie Heinrichs was also on duty and the robber told her to stay where she was.

The hold-up lasted not more than three or four minutes, but Ron said it felt like forever. No one was injured during the robbery, but Ron and Becky were frightened.

Ron described the robber as a slim male, who was wearing a purple neck warmer, a hood covering his head, and a fleece jacket. He was about 5' 9" in height and brown eyes.

After leaving the store with the money held out in front of him, the man took off towards the Southland Mall. Because it was dark, Ron did not actually see where the man was going. Ron also didn't want to chase after him. The robber was not seen to enter a vehicle.

Esso did not have any video surveillance cameras, so Winkler police do not have much of a description, apart from that given by the Esso staff. The management at Esso now says that they will be installing video cameras. If something like this happens again, they will have pictures of the person in action to help Winkler's police chief Rick Hiebert and his staff.

Although they have little information to go on, Winkler police report they already have a suspect, but are not giving any names out at this time. They welcome any information from the general public.