Man facing charges after bank robbery spree across southern Manitoba

RCMP announced on Thursday they have arrested and charged a man, after several Manitoba banks were robbed over an approximately two-month period.

“We're hoping that today's announcement brings back a sense of safety to all the employees and communities that were affected,” RCMP Insp. Tim Arseneault said during a media conference in Winnipeg on Thursday, where it was announced that a 30-year-old man from Morden is in custody, charged with five counts of robbery.

RCMP said that after an extensive investigation into recent bank robberies that occurred between Nov. 10 and Jan. 3, and where “thousands” of dollar were stolen, they were able to identify a suspect, who was arrested “without incident” at a Morden home on Jan. 9.

The man is accused of bank robberies that took place in Steinbach, Lowe Farm, and Glenboro, as well as two separate alleged robberies at the same bank in Miami.

“These robberies, initially investigated by the various RCMP detachments of jurisdiction, involved the suspect entering the bank, providing the teller a note stating that it was a robbery, and then the suspect fleeing the scene,” Arseneault said.

“In some instances, the suspect indicated in the note that he had a firearm. The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash in four of the robberies, with Steinbach being the exception.

“No injuries were reported and no weapon was produced.”

According to RCMP, due to the similarities of the robberies, their Major Crime Services unit assumed responsibility of the investigation.

“They examined extensive video surveillance and were able to determine that the suspect had worn similar clothing during each of the robberies, but had fled the scene in a different vehicle each time,” Arseneault said.

In a media release, RCMP assistant commissioner Rob Hill praised the work of RCMP investigators leading up to this week’s arrest. “This was a difficult investigation with crime scenes spread out across southern Manitoba,” Hill said.

“I would like to commend the investigators who quickly recognized the similarities of these crimes and worked tenaciously to identify and safely arrest the suspect.”

According to RCMP, no weapons were ever seen during any of the incidents and no weapon has ever been seized by police.

More than 70 staff from various RCMP detachments and units as well as the Morden Police Service were involved in the investigation, and RCMP said they will continue to investigate to determine if anyone else was involved.

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun