A 59-year-old man has been charged in relation to three armed bank robberies this year at the CIBC bank in Colwood.
Lorne Rodway is charged with three counts of using a restricted weapon during a robbery, three counts of disguising his face with the intent to commit an offense and one count of assault with a weapon.
Rodway made his first appearance at Western Communities Court Thursday. He remains in custody and has a bail hearing June 16. According to court records, in April 1999 Rodway was found guilty of three counts of robbery in Vancouver and was handed a six year sentence and lifetime driving ban.
The CIBC bank at 310 Goldstream Ave. has suffered three broad daylight holdups in as many months. On March 2, April 9 and last Wednesday a masked man entered the bank with a handgun and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.
During the last robbery, eagle-eyed witnesses gave West Shore RCMP detailed descriptions of the suspect, his vehicle and direction of travel away from the Juan de Fuca plaza. RCMP arrested a man shortly after the 1:10 p.m. robbery on June 1 in the West Shore area.
Police investigators are still looking to interview witnesses, particularly a woman in the parking lot of Thrifty Foods who may have seen the suspect put something in his vehicle.
“We would like to thank all those witnesses who remained calm and were able to provide police with the information we needed to apprehend this suspect,” Cpl. Kathy Rochlitz said in a release.
CIBC spokesperson Rob McLeod said bank robberies are “comparatively rare” for their branches, but are extremely stressful and difficult events for employees and customers.
Immediately following any robbery, CIBC offers professional trauma counselling and support to all employees, McLeod said. CIBC also offers such counselling to any clients who witnessed a robbery, at no cost.
Witnesses or anyone with information on these robberies can call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).