Prolific bank robber charged in relation to 12 bank robberies across York Region
After an international manhunt, a prolific male bank robber pled guilty to seven of 17 armed robberies he is alleged to have committed across Canada from 2010 to 2015. Twelve of those alleged bank robberies happened in York Region, including at four banks in Richmond Hill and Thornhill.
The accused became known as the Vaulter Bandit, as he would vault over the bank counters. Later in his career, he would make staff open the vaults. He was identified by a fingerprint left on a piece of evidence at the scene of his last robbery in May 2015. With the help of the FBI and after an Interpol Red Notice, the accused was located in Geneva, Switzerland, and brought back to Canada by members of the York Regional Police (YRP) Hold-Up Unit.
A citizen of both France and the U.S., the accused had no previous criminal record in Canada and no known ties to Canada. He would fly into the country to rob a bank or two, then fly out again.
According to the YRP’s constable Andy Pattenden, that’s what made the Vaulter Bandit so difficult to track down.
“A lot of robberies occur because people are in need of money,” said Const. Pattenden. “Whatever the reason is, they go in and do a robbery and take the money and then quickly spend it … relatively locally.”
Pattenden confirmed that, after robbing a bank, the accused would go shopping. A Rolex watch was discovered among the evidence.
The accused robbed banks without disguises, which allowed officers to get images and surveillance video of him.
“The fact that he was able to commit so many robberies without a disguise and take so long to get caught really is what made him the most notorious bank robber,” said Const. Pattenden.