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Whitehorse gas station attacked with petrol bomb

The manager of Tags Food & Gas is critical of the RCMP’s response
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Whitehorse RCMP is investigating after someone threw a Molotov cocktail into Tags Food & Gas in downtown Whitehorse on Aug. 10. (Matthew Bossons/Yukon New)

Tags Food & Gas in downtown Whitehorse was the victim of two seemingly related incidents involving a flammable liquid last week, which the Whitehorse RCMP is investigating.

According to shop manager Pret Sidhu, at around 6 p.m. on Aug. 10, an individual threw a Molotov cocktail — a glass bottle filled with a liquid accelerant and topped with a lit “wick” — into the convenience store and gas station.

“[He] had a full bottle of petroleum, and he lit it and threw it inside the building. I was in the back, and I heard a scream, somebody saying ‘fire,’” Sidhu tells the News, adding that the bottle did not smash and that he used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.

“If it smashed, I feel that a lot of people could have got hurt […] somebody could have got killed. This is really dangerous.”

The person who threw the petrol bomb was allegedly accompanied by another individual, both of whom fled before police officers arrived on the scene, Sidhu says.

Hours later, at sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 11, someone threw flammable liquid on the side door of Tags. According to Sidhu, the business’ staff were alerted to the second incident after smelling gas.

Sidhu believes someone was trying to ignite the liquid, as his staff later discovered a wick by the door. He additionally thinks that both violent acts against the business are the work of the same people.

An RCMP press release issued on Aug. 15 states that it is unclear if the same suspects are to blame but notes that “police believe that both incidents are related” and that “the investigation is ongoing.”

Sidhu is critical of the RCMP’s response to the incidents. In particular, he takes issue with the lack of a prompt public announcement about the incident and the fact that he has received no updates about the investigation.

“We totally respect the RCMP. We totally want to work with the RCMP. We totally want to, uh, we need the RCMP […] But once they get the information, then afterwards, it becomes the Sahara Desert, where you see nothing happening,” Sidhu says, claiming that previous crimes committed in the store have not been solved.

Sidhu further notes that when the RCMP were contacted about the wick discovered by the petrol-covered side door at Tags a day or so later, “they didn’t really want to investigate.” He adds that one of the officers who responded to the nighttime incident suggested the 24-hour gas station and convenience store should “lock its doors.”

“The criminals kick you in the nuts, and then I feel the RCMP kick you in the nuts, and then the [aftermath] kicks you in the nuts. So, by the end of the day, you have no nuts left,” Sidhu says.

The RCMP did not respond to the News’ request for comment by deadline.

Contact Matthew Bossons at matthew.bossons@yukon-news.com



Matthew Bossons

About the Author: Matthew Bossons

I grew up in a suburb of Vancouver and studied journalism there before moving to China in 2014 to work as a journalist and editor.
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