Arrests made in a series of violent robberies in the GTA
Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, March 9, 2018 5:56PM EST
Two men have been charged in connection with a series of violent retail and bank robberies throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
A group who police have identified as “The SKS Bandits,” are allegedly responsible for the robberies, police said.
The spree began on Dec. 17 at a McDonald’s near Dufferin Street and Glencairn Avenue. Two men entered the restaurant and ordered everyone to the ground. They then jumped over the counter and cleaned out the cash in the registers.
Both men were reportedly armed –one with a handgun and the other with an assault rifle. A shot was fired from the rifle, but police say no one was injured.
Between January and February, three pharmacies and five banks were robbed, four in Toronto and one in York region. In a news release issued Friday, police described the robberies as “takeover style, with the men wearing balaclavas and ordering the employees and customers to the floor.” There were no injuries reported at any of these incidents.
A number of stolen vehicles were used during the robberies, police said.
Two suspects were arrested and charged on March 1. During the arrest, police allegedly found and seized a loaded assault rifle.
Toronto residents Ivan David Lira, 25, and 39-year-old William Jason Snyder were both charged with nine counts of robbery while armed with a firearm, nine counts of disguise with intent, and unauthorized possession of a firearm. They face a total of 14 charges between the two of them.
Lira will appear in court on March 20 and Snyder will appear on April 19.