Geneva police nab 'most wanted bank robber in Canada'

AP News
Posted: Sep 16, 2015 12:15 PM

GENEVA (AP) — Geneva police have arrested the "most-wanted bank robber in Canada," a seemingly athletic French-American citizen known for a technique of jumping over bank counters in his heists, police officials said Wednesday.

The 53-year-old suspect, nicknamed "The Vaulter Bandit" but not identified by name, had been sought under an international arrest warrant issued by Canada in connection with 22 bank robberies over the last five years. The Canadian Bankers Association had offered a 100,000 Canadian dollar ($75,000) reward for information leading to his arrest.

It wasn't immediately clear how much money the man has robbed over the years.

The suspect was intercepted by plainclothes police while he was driving a compact car on a Geneva street on Tuesday, and taken into custody without incident, Geneva police spokesman Jean-Philippe Brandt said. He is being held pending extradition procedures, and could face life in prison if convicted, police said.

A Geneva police statement provided links to two videos of news reports that contain footage taken from bank cameras showing the suspect in action, though Swiss police and judicial officials declined to identify him by name — deferring to Canadian authorities.

In Canada, York Regional Police Constable Andy Pattenden said they were aware an arrest was made, but declined to immediately release the name.

"We've all been working together for years sharing info on this guy. The surveillance images we have been able to release are incredible and it's taken a long time to figure who it is. Given where the arrest was made it's an indication of why it's taken this long," Pattenden said.

He said they hope to have him extradited soon.

"It's great news," Pattenden said. "It's been a long, long investigation and a lot of ongoing robberies."

Malcolm Chivers of the Canadian Bankers Association said: "It's obviously terrific to have him off the streets ... If this is the vaulter, he was a serial robber. It was a great concern to everyone."


Rob Gillies contributed to this report from Toronto.