Charges dropped against accused armed robber

The Crown has dropped all eight charges against a man accused of committing three armed robberies two years ago.

Andrew Mayers, 46, walked out of the Campbell River courthouse a free man after charges against him were stayed in B.C. Supreme Court last Thursday.

"In this case, the quality of evidence was such that continuing the prosecution was not feasible," Crown prosecutor John Boccabella told the Mirror.

Mayers was accused of committing two armed robberies in Courtenay and one in Oyster River at Discovery Foods.

One of the Discovery Foods owners said he was disappointed the Crown had dropped the charges, but declined to comment further.

According to RCMP reports, on Dec. 4, 2009, around 5 p.m., a man brandishing a silver handgun entered Peoples Drug Mart on Fitzgerald Avenue in Courtenay. The robber demanded cash and prescription drugs, and then fled.

Two more similar robberies occurred on Feb. 10, 2010.

The first took place around 6 p.m. at First Insurance on Ryan Road in Courtenay. A masked man entered the business, lifted his shirt revealing what looked like a gun, and demanded money from the employee. He then fled with a minimal amount of cash.

Later, at 9:20 p.m., approximately 20 kilometres north at Oyster River, a masked man armed with a handgun approached a Discovery Foods employee in the parking lot after the grocery store had been locked up for the night.

The robber forced the employee to re-open a door and then ordered the worker to open the store's safe. The culprit then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Mayers was arrested by Campbell River RCMP on March 19, 2010, and later released on bail.

He was charged with three counts of armed robbery, three counts of using an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence, and two counts of wearing a disguise with intent.

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