Walnut Grove hatchet robber gets 18 months in prison


A Bonnie-and-Clyde style couple who robbed Langley merchants with a hatchet have been sentenced for their crime spree.

James Gunn and his wife Nicole Gunn entered guilty pleas to several crimes earlier this year, and James Gunn has now been sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Between December 2013 and January of this year, there were several robberies in the Walnut Grove area, mostly at fast food outlets.

A man wearing a balaclava or surgical mask would enter carrying the hatchet and demand money.

During one theft he jumped over the counter, emptied the register, and then took the petty cash from the office, said Cpl. Holly Marks, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.

After each robbery, the man ran from the store and jumped into a nearby van driven by a woman.

The police began closing in when a BC Ambulance driver saw the van pulling away and gave police a partial license plate number.

The van was linked back to James Gunn, a Walnut Grove resident who matched the descriptions of the robber.

Marks said Langley Serious Crime section took over the investigation, and the Street Enforcement Unit helped work “on the ground” in the neighbourhood.

The final robbery took place on Jan. 25 at the Lotus Day Spa. James Gunn was seen leaving the spa and jumping into the van.

Officers tried to stop the van shortly after the robbery, but Marks said Nicole Gunn drove into oncoming lanes of traffic several times while evading capture.

Police gave up the chase and decided to arrest the pair in a more controlled manner.

On Jan. 29, officers confirmed both Gunns were in their home, and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team entered and arrested both without incident.

Nicole Gunn, 32, pleaded guilty to one count each of robbery, flight from police, and dangerous driving. She was given a suspended sentence and 18 months of probation, along with a 10-year ban on owning or using guns and a six-month driving ban.

James Gunn, 32, also entered a guilty plea over the summer, two one count of robbery, disguise with intent, and two counts of driving while prohibited. He was sentenced this month to 18 months behind bars, two years probation, a two-year driving ban and a 10-year firearms ban.

Marks said police were very concerned about the robbery spree, and the investigation brought in many sections of the local RCMP, including the Drug Section, the Prolific Offender Enforcement Team, and general duty officers, along with regional teams like Forensic Identification, Police Dog Services, and Air One.

Just Posted

Langley daycare investigated after staffer allegedly threatens child

Fraser Health ordered the centre to come up with a plan to fix the issue

Driver flees Aldergrove hit-and-run, dumps smoking car

Driver of a grey van rear-ended another vehicle at the corner of 272 Street and Fraser Highway.

When gas prices go up, Aldergrove residents head South

Overal reduction in Canadian cross border traffic, but one reason has locals heading South

Conservatives, PPC prepare to nominate in Langley-Aldergrove

The two parties are about to select their candidates for the next federal election

MP seeks to honour Langley’s environmental heroes

Nominations are open for the Langley Environmental Heroes Awards until April 19

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Man identified in Vancouver’s fourth homicide of the year

30-year-old man was not known to police

RCMP locate missing Colony Farm psychiatric patient

Patient left last week on day pass from the hospital in Coquitlam

600 volunteers sign up to recall Maple Ridge MLAs over housing problems

Organizer urges province to reconsider position on Burnett modulars

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Australian author reacts to Chilliwack school trustee’s ‘book banning’ statements

John Marsden responds to ‘horror and outrage’ from adults about mildly sexual thoughts in his novel

Most Read