A 38-year-old Salmon Arm man has been arrested and charged in connection with two armed robberies and an explosion that injured two security guards in Edmonton.
Edmonton police say Justin Byron was arrested on March 4 at Edmonton International Airport following an ongoing investigation by Edmonton Police Service robbery section detectives and tactical members. Byron is facing multiple charges including two charges of robbery with firearm, two charges of attempted robbery, four charges of using an explosive device, two charges of possession of an explosive material, four charges of aggravated assault and two charges of disguise with intent.
Byron is scheduled to appear in Edmonton court on Friday, March 15.
“This arrest came about as a result of some excellent police work from the EPS Robbery Section and many areas within our police service,” says Edmonton Staff Sgt. Rob Mills. “We’re grateful to our RCMP law enforcement partners in Salmon Arm, B.C. who also played a key role in bringing our investigation to a successful conclusion.
“We believe the accused was planning another incident, and we’re happy that we prevented another attack.”
Police say on Sept. 19, 2018, at approximately 2:35 a.m., two armoured guards were making their deliveries in an armoured vehicle at an Edmonton financial institution. As the first employee entered the vestibule, an explosion occurred, disorientating both employees, who then drew their firearms. The two armoured car guards were uninjured, and no money was lost during the attack.
On Dec. 13, 2018 at 2 a.m., a second incident occurred at another Edmonton financial institution. Again, two armoured guards walked into the vestibule of the bank when an explosion detonated, knocking one of the employees to the ground. The second employee retreated from the bank for cover, when a second explosion occurred.
The male suspect is alleged to have entered the vestibule, grabbed the deposit bag and ran to a pick-up truck parked nearby. The armed guards were treated and transported to hospital for non-life-threating injuries.
“The RCMP will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners to ensure that people that commit crimes in one jurisdiction cannot hide in another,” commented Salmon Arm RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West. “People who do commit criminal acts will be held accountable for their actions, no matter where the crimes took place.”