A police robot rolls down First Ave. before entering the ScotiaBank.

Mission businesses impacted by last week’s bomb threat, bank robbery

Carlo Billinger, president of the Mission Downtown Business Association said many merchants felt the sting caused by the four-hour closure.

A bank robbery and bomb threat had much of First Avenue closed for business last Friday.

Carlo Billinger, president of the Mission Downtown Business Association said many  merchants felt the sting caused by the four-hour closure.

“That really interrupted business,” he said.

“It’s not just the shutting down (of stores). You couldn’t park downtown, people were afraid, people left – this was serious stuff.”

Billinger said the impact of the event could be felt on Saturday as well.

He plans to draft a letter from local businesses, which he hopes can be read during the suspect’s trial.

Mission RCMP arrested and charged 34-year-old Jason James Allison.

The suspect entered the Scotiabank on First Avenue in downtown Mission, allegedly demanded money and indicated that he had an explosive device.

The area was evacuated, the RCMP explosive disposal unit was called to the scene, and a bomb removal robot was deployed. The bomb threat was a hoax.

That evening,  police saw the suspect, who forced his way into a residence on Fleming Ave. He held a woman hostage and a long standoff began. At 4 a.m. he released the woman unharmed. Two hours later he surrendered to police.