Police nab accused serial bank robber
The Canadian Bankers Association offered a $10,000 reward for information about the "Old Man Winter Bandit'.
Published Thursday, November 8, 2012 2:10PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, November 8, 2012 2:15PM MST
Calgary police along with a number of other police services and the Canadian Bankers Association were instrumental in the investigation, identification and arrest of a suspect in a series of bank robberies and two thefts that date back to 2009.
Leonard Richard Collins, 46, is charged with nine counts of robbery and two counts of theft under $5,000.
He earned the nickname "Old Man Winter Bandit" because he wears a winter coat and appeared to be elderly.
The Canadian Bankers Association put up a $10,000 dollar reward last month in the hopes that someone would come forward with information.
The reward generated a number of tips from the public and one led to the identification and arrest of the suspect.
“This was a long and complex investigation. We believe that the arrest of this individual was possible because of an organized effort by the multiple police agencies, and the assistance of the Canadian Bankers Association,” says Staff Sgt. Howard Kunce of the EPS Robbery Section.
In Calgary, the accused is believed to be responsible for two recent robberies:
- On Monday, April 2, 2012, a man entered a bank in the 200 block of Shawville Boulevard S.W., and used a note to rob the bank.
- On Thursday, May 10, 2012, it’s believed the same man entered a bank in the 8800 block of Country Hills Boulevard N.W., and once again used a note to rob the bank.
The same man is also suspected in several robberies outside of Calgary:
- On Monday, Dec. 21, 2009, a man approached the teller of a bank located in the 1000 block of Sherwood Drive in Sherwood Park. He presented a hold-up note that indicated he had a gun. No weapon was seen. The man gets away with an undisclosed amount of cash.
- On Thursday, April 14, 2011, a male suspect entered a bank located on 24 Street, in Edmonton, and produced a note and robbed the bank.
- On Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, a male suspect walked into an Edmonton drug store at 94 Street and Ellerslie Road and removed cash from the till. Shortly after, he entered another drug store and removed cash from that till. In both incidents the suspect got away with an undisclosed amount of money.
- Two days later, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012, the same suspect entered a bank at 98 Avenue and 50 Street, in Edmonton, and demanded cash from the teller. The teller complied and the suspect got away.
- On Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, the same suspect entered a bank at 175 Street and 100 Avenue, in Edmonton, and once again passed a note, getting away with money.
- The same suspect targeted a bank in Spruce Grove, AB, on Thursday. Feb. 23, 2012, and in Winnipeg, MB, on Tuesday, March 20, 2012.
Collins was arrested on November 2 in Brandon, Manitoba and remains in police custody.