EDMONTON — The man believed responsible for a series of armed bank robberies in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan was arrested in Grande Prairie Friday afternoon.
The 26-year-old man is alleged to have committed upwards of nine bank robberies through the prairie provinces from early December to this past Thursday.
RCMP say the man was arrested at a Grande Prairie motel around 2:30 p.m. Friday.
The owner of Grande Prairie’s Lodge Motor Inn says police called him to notify him the motel had been under surveillance since Thursday. Ray Johnson said the suspect stayed at the motel for two nights.
“Every time he needed money he had to go out to his truck. Our staff got suspicious,” Johnson told Global News.
He estimates there were about 18 police officers involved in Friday’s arrest. RCMP said no one was injured in the incident.
A man staying at the motel says the suspect was escorted out of his room by police.
“There was a full-on tactical police force with automatic weapons,” said Patrick, who asked that his last name not be published.
“I had a conversation with the guy last night. He was saying how lucky he was. He had a scratch and win and gave it to the teller saying, ‘You can keep whatever’s on there.’ I said [to him], ‘What, did you win the lottery or something? Or are you robbing banks?’ He didn’t say a word after that.”
The first robbery was recorded on Dec. 1 in Princeton, B.C. Eight days later, the suspect allegedly held up a bank in Vernon, about 200 kilometres north of Princeton.
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The suspect is also believed to be responsible for armed robberies at banks in Merritt, Aldergrove, High River, Lethbridge, Claresholm and Swift Current.
The suspect, whose name has not been released, will be held in custody until his first court appearance. A date and location for the man’s court appearance has not yet been released.
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