Gun-toting serial bandit strikes at busy North Van toy store

Police are asking for help to identify this man.  - VPD handout
Police are asking for help to identify this man.
— image credit: VPD handout

A suspect in a string of brazen grocery store robberies across Metro Vancouver has struck again, this time at a North Van toy store filled with holiday shoppers.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, the grey-haired, heavy-set man robbed the Toys-R-Us store on Brooksbank at gunpoint at around 5:40 p.m., police say.

Investigators believe this is the eighth robbery the suspect has committed since March. Until now, the bandit had only targeted grocery stores.

Last month, North Vancouver Mounties released surveillance footage of one of his grocery store heists and received several tips about the suspect, but none led to a positive ID.

Robberies have occurred in North and West Vancouver, Vancouver and Burnaby.

“The level of violence in these robberies appears to be escalating,” said VPD Det. Const. Joe Danieli in a statement released today. “We are concerned for the safety of the public and want to see this man arrested before someone gets hurt.”

Police believe the suspect drives a black Ford Explorer (2006 to 2010) with black wheels.

He is described as a Caucasian male in his 50s or 60s, approximately 5'10" and 200 pounds. Anyone with any information is asked to call the North Vancouver RCMP and speak to either Cpl. Gord Reid at 604-969-7515 or Const. Tyler Wickware at 604-969-7517 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).


Robbery Locations (from VPD)

Saturday, March 31 at 7:33 p.m.

1650 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

Saturday, April 14 at 6:43 p.m.
Super Valu

3230 Connaught Crescent, North Vancouver

Sunday, May 6 at 6:55 p.m.
Queensdale Market

3030 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver

Saturday, May 12 at 7:03 p.m.
Extra Foods

7190 Kerr Street, Vancouver

Thursday, October 11 at 6:38 p.m.
IGA Marketplace

3535 W.41st Avenue, Vancouver

Friday, October 26 at 5:55 p.m.
Choices Market

8683 10th Avenue, Burnaby

Saturday, November 17 at 6:01 p.m.
Choices Market

1880 W.57th Avenue, Vancouver

Saturday, December 1 at 5:40 p.m.
333 Brooksbank, North Vancouver

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