Victoria patrol officers nab suspect seconds after bank robbery

Dollar amount allegedly stolen not released by police

Just seconds after a man allegedly robbed a bank in downtown Victoria Friday afternoon, Victoria patrol officers had placed him in handcuffs.

Police say a man in his mid-50s allegedly robbed the Bank of Montreal branch at the corner of Douglas and Yates streets around 3 p.m. There were no injuries during the robbery or during the arrest, which was described by police as “smooth” and “without violence.”

“He was arrested a block away,” said Sgt. Keith Lewis, who was the duty watch commander back at the department when the crime allegedly occurred. “It was one of those good things.”

He did not know the sum of money that had allegedly been taken.

A patrol unit happened to be “30 seconds away” from the bank at the time and, thanks to a detailed description of the suspect, the two officers spotted and quickly apprehended the man, Lewis said. He would not say if police happened to be in the bank at the time of the incident.

“We’re not allowed to make an arrest in a bank,” Lewis said.

The arrest is significant, in part because of the busy day and heavy call load police were experiencing Friday, he said.

“Sometimes we need a little luck and we had that today.”

Late into the afternoon and early evening on Friday Victoria police detectives were working the crime scene at the bank, pulling surveillance tapes and questioning bank tellers and other staff members.

“Obviously there’s a ton of video at the bank,” Lewis said, adding that with the lone suspect in custody, detective could concentrate their efforts on the investigation.

“You don’t rush that,” he said, adding that detectives were taking extra care given the trauma the staff may have experienced. “It can be pretty terrifying to be robbed.”

Lewis did not know whether a weapon had been used in the alleged robbery.

A sign on the front door of the bank branch informed customers there had been a robbery, and that it would be closed for the rest of the day. The sign suggested customers use the nearest branch in James Bay.

Asked whether the suspect is known to police, Lewis said, “I’m satisfied … that he has quite a history of crime.”

The man, whose name was not being released, was scheduled to appear at a court telebail hearing Saturday morning.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Missing: 12-year-old girl last seen in area of Shelbourne and Hillside

Victoria police ask for public help in locating girl

The blind lead the blind at the Pacific Training Centre

Centre specializes in teaching visually impaired people everyday skills to live an independent life

Fewer Greater Victoria residents collecting EI benefits

The number of local EI recipients dropped by 5.5 per cent from January 2018 to January 2019

Sidney woman hosts charity shabby-chic furniture sale

Upcycled and refurbed furniture sells to benefit the Alzheimer’s Society of BC and Crohn’sColitis Canada

Student Voice: Reynolds ReyBots qualify for Texas-sized Robot championship

ReyBots robot met premier, ‘dodged’ the competition

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Most Read