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Coquitlam man arrested in connection with Austin Heights robberies
Businesses in Coquitlam's Austin Heights neighbourhood have been hit with a rash of robberies in recent months.
And finally, there has been an arrest.
The Coquitlam RCMP said Ryan Sheldon McClinton has been taken into custody and is facing 22 criminal charges related to the robberies.
Police said that following a robbery on Oct. 28, a backpack was left behind at the crime scene. This provided investigators with several crucial clues, evidence that was used to arrest the 28-year-old suspect.
"We are pleased to say that we are able to bring the suspect to justice," said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung. "The arrest didn't come easy as it's a result of months of pain-staking good police work done by the Coquitlam RCMP's Robbery Section with the assistance of other units."
McClinton has been charged with seven counts of robbery, seven counts of using an imitation firearm while committing an offence, seven counts of using a disguise with intent to commit an offence and possession of stolen property.
He remain in custody and is scheduled for his bail hearing on Nov. 28.
"Our job is not done," Chung said. "We continue to work with the Crown Counsel's office to make sure the criminal charges will stand up in court.
A string of robberies has plagued the Austin Heights neighbourhood since the summer, including one incident at a Remedy's Rx Drug store next to the Community Police Station on Ridgeway Avenue.
In August, Coquitlam RCMP released a description of a suspect they said they believed was involved in at least three of the robberies. Police said investigators have been working closely with members of the Austin Heights Business Improvement Associatoin and urged shop owners in the area to remain vigilant.
Many business owners told The Tri-City News in September they were concerned about the crime issues in the neighbourhood since the robberies began.