Two teens arrested in Markham bank robbery now face charges in similar Pickering incident
TORONTO -- Two of the three teenage suspects arrested in a Markham bank robbery Wednesday are now also facing charges in a similar separate incident that took place in Pickering last week.
Durham police were looking for two armed suspects after a violent robbery took place at a Scotiabank location on Kingston Road in Pickering on Friday, Feb. 14 at around 8 p.m.
Investigators said the two suspects allegedly entered the bank armed with guns and made a demand for cash. The suspects injured three people, who were all taken to hospital for facial injuries.
No cash was obtained, and the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle, police said.
Police have now connected the two suspects to a more recent violent robbery in Markham Wednesday night.
Investigators said that three suspects armed with knives and a gun entered an RBC location in Markham, and ordered everyone onto the ground and demanded cash from the safe.
York police said two bank employees were stabbed and two other people were kicked in the face.
The suspects, who police said are 13, 15, and 16 years old, were later arrested and charged after officers located the teens hiding inside a townhouse under construction nearby.
Police said the vehicle allegedly used by the suspects had been stolen on Feb. 10 during a violent carjacking in Toronto.
“They pulled up in a vehicle and this vehicle has now been confirmed to be stolen," Const. Laura Nicolle told CTV News Toronto. "It was stolen during a violent carjacking incident where the victim was also stabbed in Toronto."
The suspects, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, face a number of charges in connection to the Markham robbery, including robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault, disguise with intent, unauthorized possession of a firearm and possession of property obtained by crime.
On Friday, investigators said they have connected the 15-year-old and 16-year-old Markham suspects with the violent robbery in Pickering.
The two are now facing an additional set of charges, including robbery with firearm, disguise with intent and three counts of assault causing bodily harm.
The teens have been remanded into custody until their bail hearings scheduled for next week. The 15-year-old is set to return to court via video on Feb. 26 while the 16-year-old suspect is scheduled to appear on Feb. 24.
The 13-year-old also appeared in a Newmarket court Friday, where he was denied bail.
York police said on Thursday that they have obtained evidence connecting the Markham suspects to additional robberies in the GTA. The Pickering incident is the first additional robbery, in which police have laid charges against some of the suspects.
“We’ve seen a very significant increase in robberies like this over the last few months,” Nicolle said.
“We’ve had more robberies in only two months of 2020 than we’ve had in an entire year in the past, so our highest number for a full year was 17 and we’re close to 20 robberies at this point.”
She said the age of the suspects and the “level of violence” allegedly committed is shocking.
“This is the first one [Markham incident] that I can think of recently where we’ve had employees of the bank essentially complying with the demands that they are given and so violently assaulted,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5355, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.