The Big Beer Store Heist in Carleton Place


brewers (1)

Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum– Brewer’s Retail can be seen down the street on the right.

There has been only one foiled bank robbery in Carleton Place, but in January of 1960 the Carleton Place beer store was hit with a 15 minute daring daylight holdup.   Two men got away with a beer carton stuffed with $3000  in cash at 10 am from the former Brewer’s Retail at Bridge and William Street.

The store had just opened that day when  two men forced three employees to lie face down on the warehouse floor while the robbers gathered up dollar bills and stuffed them into the beer case. To make things worse the two criminals eluded a police cordon of roadblocks set up around town.

It was the first armed robbery of any business in Carleton Place in years. Store employee Aubrey Nesbitt had seen two tall men walking on William Street just before 9 am when he came to work. At 10 am Jack Ryan opened the store doors for business and returned to the rear to help Nesbitt and Wallie McKittrick stock the refrigerator with beer.

Two men walked in the sore and brandished a gun and said “this is a holdup”.  The men forced Nesbitt to open a desk drawer where the money was kept after being just removed from the safe for the day. The men then emptied 12 pints of beer on the floor of the refrigerators and stuffed the money in the beer case while threatening store employees. Before they left they once again told the employees to lie face down or they would “blow their heads off”.

Chief Herb Cornell headed up the investigation assisted by Cpl. Larry Gartner of the OPP detachment. Now word if they were ever caught.


Historical Fact:

Years ago the former building where Brewer’s Retail sat on William and Bridge Street was one hopping area of town. There was a small Opera Hall, then the High School had a spot for awhile, but there was one interesting occupant in that building at one point in time. It was called a shooting gallery!

In June of 1960 Ed Campbell, grocer, was robbed and this became the second robbery of that same year.

Robberies in Carleton Place — Mr. Ed Campbell of High Street

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Jan 1960, Mon  •  Page 10

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

4 responses »

  1. Do you have any records of the beer store when Bill Prime was manage ?C. 1950 Bill had a beauiful 1953 Lincoln convertible. He attended every funeral in town, and when he ran for mayor, he easily won. Terry Miller

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Linda, Last year I sent a copy of our family history “From Little Towns” tp Almonte , Carleton Place, and Perth Libraries. Our Great Grandather came to Almonte late 1800
        I was born in Carleton Place 1940. My brother and I are fans of your work and are gratiful that you are dedicated to bring the past of Ottawa Valley back to life. Thanks Terry

        Liked by 1 person

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