2/1/20 Montreal, CAN – Bank Robbery – Chase – Crashed Into Many Vehicles – Suspect Doubled Back – Steals Police Cruiser – Chase – Two Cruisers Damaged – Captured
February 1, 2020
Three teenagers were arrested after a daylight Friday bank robbery in downtown St. Catharines that involved three vehicle chases, two pursuits on foot — one through Niagara Region headquarters — a citizen’s arrest and a stolen police cruiser.
“There are a lot of working parts to this investigation,” said Niagara Regional Police Const. Phil Gavin. “We have five scenes to manage and get information from.”
Police said that about 4:40 p.m. three or four males, armed with firearms, robbed the Bank of Montreal on King Street. No one was harmed, but the bandits escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Gavin said an NRP officer in a cruiser saw the males flee the bank and get into a dark vehicle. The officer chased the suspect vehicle, but the pursuit was called off over concerns about public safety. Police will often call off a vehicle chase to protect the public, particularly in high-speed incidents.
The robbers would not get away for long, however. Gavin said a short time later the suspect vehicle was spotted in Thorold in the area of St. David’s Road and Highway 406.
A second vehicle chase ensued but stopped in the area of the Region’s municipal headquarters because one of the tires on the fleeing car blew out.
Police set up a staging area across the street from the building while police officers, some with their canine partners, searched the offices.
“I don’t know what happened, but I saw five (cops) running through with dogs,” said one employee, after he exited the building and joined a small group of other employees outside.
Police exited the building with a suspect in custody.
However, during the search, one male doubled back behind the officers and jumped into one of their unoccupied cruisers.
This triggered a third vehicle chase, which ended a few kilometres away near the intersection of Keefer Road and Manley Crescent in Thorold when the cruiser hit a parked car.
Gavin said another foot chase started and the suspect was quickly arrested.
When the police cruiser was stolen, an officer was wrestling with a suspect arrested at regional headquarters. Gavin said the officer tried to stop the car and his suspect stood up likely in an attempt to flee.
However, “a member of the public took control of him,” said Gavin.
Two of the police cruisers were damaged during one of the vehicle pursuits. Gavin posted a photo of one of the vehicles on Twitter showing damage to the passenger side door, which is streaked with black paint. The bandits’ getaway car and the civilian vehicle the stolen cruiser hit were also damaged.
Of the three arrested Friday night, two are boys aged 15 and 16. Both face multiple criminal charges including robbery with a firearm, flight from police, theft of a vehicle, and possession of property obtained by crime. The 15-year-old is from Mississauga and the 16-year-old is from Toronto.
Roel Lloyd, 18, of Toronto was arrested Friday night and faces the same charges.
Police said a fourth suspect is wanted in connection to the incident. He is described as being 15 to 17 years of age, has brown skin and may have been wearing grey pants and a dark top.