YARMOUTH, NS – The Yarmouth RCMP are searching for two suspects after a 77-year-old Yarmouth man was grabbed from behind by two men on his property in Plymouth, Yarmouth County, on Thursday and forced him to hand over money before the two assailants made the resident drive them to another location where they then fled on foot.
“We’re really reaching out to the public on this one and hoping somebody may have some piece of information that can help us identify who these two males are,” RCMP Corporal Dal Hutchinson said in an interview Friday morning. “We can’t stress enough, anyone with any information, whether big or small, we need to hear from them.”
According to an RCMP media release issued on Friday morning, the RCMP say that at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, a 77-year-old man was going into a barn on his property when he was grabbed from behind and dragged to his vehicle by two unknown men.
The police say the men forced the victim to hand over an undisclosed amount of money. Cpl. Hutchinson said there was no weapon produced or used. The RCMP described the incident as a physical assault.
The RCMP say after demanding money the men forced the victim to drive them to a nearby gravel pit where they took his cell phone, then threw his keys away. The suspects walked away from the pit on foot. The victim found his keys and drove back home and called 911.
The suspects are described as two men wearing black clothing and black face masks. They had a black backpack, and one of the men had a neck tattoo.
The police say the victim sustained a minor injury to his face during the altercation.
“It's very disturbing, given what they did to this 77-year-old man, who was no doubt out doing something that he does on a regular basis, going to a barn on his property when all of a sudden he’s basically attacked by two unknown men,” Cpl. Hutchinson said. “Minor injuries, but it could have been much worse.”
Asked Friday morning if the public should be concerned, given that the two suspects were still at large, Cpl. Hutchinson said, “What people should be concerned with is helping us to identify who these two individuals might be. If anyone in or around that community, and I can’t give the specific address, but if anyone may have seen two males dressed in black in the area, prior to 8 a.m. or shortly after in the Plymouth area, to reach out to us, whether it be a vehicle they might have gotten into or any information that they may have that could assist us with the information would be appreciated.
“But the key thing for people is to be aware of their surroundings. Look out for each other and report any suspicious activity to police,” he added.
The RCMP was contacted via 911 by the victim on Thursday after the incident. The Yarmouth rural and town detachments responded, using a police dog to attempt to locate the suspects. Cpl. Hutchinson said the dog was not able to pick up any scent.
“We had the police dog there searching the area, hoping to be able to pick up a track and locate these two, we weren’t successful with that, but there would have been a lot of door knocking and checking around the area. Someone could have thrown the masks, there could be clothing left some place,” he said. “That’s another thing too, if anyone happens to come across something like that, don’t touch it, call us right away and we’ll come and deal with it because that would be a significant piece of evidence for our investigation.”
RCMP Forensic Identification Services is assisting with the investigation, as well as the Yarmouth/ Clare Street Crime Enforcement Unit (SCEU). The RCMP canvassed the area and continue to look for the suspects, who remain at large.
On Thursday morning the RCMP were stopping vehicles at locations in Yarmouth County. In nearby Melbourne, for instance, an RCMP officer was stopping vehicles coming off of the Melbourne Road, checking the interiors of vehicles to see how many occupants were inside.
The Tri-County Regional Education Centre, after being contacted by the RCMP, put in place a hold and secure at the Plymouth elementary school on Thursday morning, having posted on its Facebook page, “There is a hold and secure at Plymouth School due to a non-violent situation in the region. All the students and staff are safe. We will advise of the situation as information arises.”
The hold and secure was lifted before 10 a.m.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Yarmouth Rural RCMP at 902-742-9106. (Quote File# 20181373198.) Should people wish to remain anonymous they can call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.