Manitoba RCMP has arrested a man following a string of bank robberies in rural Manitoba between November and January.
Five robberies were reported in total, the first happening in Steinbach on Nov. 10, followed by an incident in Lowe Farm on Nov. 14. Then in December there were two robberies, the first on Dec. 8 in Glenboro and then on Dec. 23 in Miami. The same bank in Miami was hit again on Jan. 3.
Investigators said a man would enter the banks, hand the teller a note demanding money, and then leave the bank. Police said he also indicated at times that he had a gun.
“A clear pattern was emerging and we knew that these robberies were going to continue until a suspect was identified and arrested,” said Insp. Tim Arseneault at a news conference on Thursday.
He said the suspect was using multiple vehicles to commit these robberies and during the fifth robbery, police were able to identify a licence plate.
“While the vehicle did not belong to the suspect, it helped investigators to narrow down and eventually identify a person of interest.”
Arseneault didn’t provide the specific amount of money stolen during the robberies, but said the amount was in the thousands. He added nothing was taken in the first robbery, but money was taken in the other four.
On Jan. 9, police were able to arrest Brett Ashton Krashel, 30, in Morden. He has been charged with five counts of robbery.
Police also executed two search warrants – one in the RM of Hanover and the other in Morden – and officers were able to find “key pieces of evidence including cash and clothing,” the RCMP said.
“We’re hopeful that today’s announcement brings back a sense of safety to all the employees and communities that were affected,” said Arseneault.
None of the charges against Krashel have been proven in court.