Bank robber caught at Tim Hortons gets 5 years in prison

Jody Sanipass apologized in Moncton court on Tuesday as he was sentenced to a total of five years in prison for two robberies he committed in late January.

The 24-year-old man pleaded guilty to robbing a Tim Hortons in Moncton while having his face covered and to robbing a Royal Bank in Richibucto while wearing a mask.

After the bank robbery, Sanipass led police on a chase along Highway 11 to Bouctouche, where he stopped at a Tim Hortons and was taken into custody in the parking lot.

The sentence was a joint recommendation of the Crown and the defence.

Crown prosecutor Maurice Blanchard went over the facts of the two cases.

He said that at 10:48 p.m. on Jan. 25, Sanipass approached the counter of the Tim Hortons at 1166 Mountain Rd. with the lower part of his face covered with a mask.

He handed the employee a note that read: "This is a robbery, give me all the cash or I'll shoot you in the head."

Sanipass was given $110 and left.

No one saw a gun

The second robbery happened at 4:07 p.m. on Jan. 29 at the Royal Bank at 9393 Main St. in Richibucto, Blanchard said.

Sanipass entered the bank with his face covered, told a teller he had a gun and said she should give him money. The teller handed over $4,300 in two bundles, and Sanipass left and got into a vehicle.

Blanchard said no one saw a weapon, but Sanipass had something up his sleeve.

Bank employees were able to get information about the car and passed it on to police.

RCMP spotted the vehicle about 25 minutes later on Route 11 and followed it for some distance. Blanchard said the vehicle pulled into the Tim Hortons parking lot, which is where the RCMP made the arrest.

Blanchard said police searched the vehicle and found clothing, a mask and a knife.

During an interview with police, Sanipass pulled the money out of his underwear.

Sanipass agreed to the Crown's statement of facts Tuesday.

A difficult life

His lawyer, Jean Trehan, said Sanipass is the father of three young children, has a Grade 9 education and had a difficult life growing up.

Trehan said Sanipass was an opioid addict but has been sober for five years.

Since being paroled on a robbery offence in October 2017, Sanipass completed a forklift course and has been doing well.

He "perpetrated the offences to provide for his family" because he had lost shifts at work, Trehan said.

Takes responsibility

He also said his client admitted to his part in the Tim Hortons robbery as soon as he was arrested for the bank robbery.

Judge Paul Duffie asked Sanipass if he had anything to say.

"I'd like to apologize for what I've done to everybody," Sanipass said. "I take full responsibility. I chose to do what I did. I accept it.

"I'm just ready to move on and do my time."