A man wanted for four bank robberies in Langley and as a suspect in seven others in the Lower Mainland was arrested Friday night in Abbotsford.
Briaden Rosch, 28, of Abbotsford was arrested at a residence on King Road by members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) and other officers.
Gunshots that a resident reported hearing during the incident were actually “flash bangs” – a non-lethal explosive device commonly used as a distraction technique in arrests.
Abbotsford Police spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald said Rosch was arrested without incident, but the heavy police presence was precautionary due to Rosch’s alleged use of weapons.
Rosch has now been charged with the four Langley robberies, including the one that began his alleged spree on April 27.
In that incident (photo at left), a man walked into the Willowbrook CIBC on 64 Avenue, produced a note, indicated he had a weapon and demanded cash. He then fled in an older-model grey or brown van.
Two of the other Langley robberies occurred on June 5, while the fourth was on June 12 – earlier in the day before his arrest.
A man with a similar description also hit the TD Bank in the 32400 block of South Fraser Way in Abbotsford on May 5 and the CIBC in the 32000 block of South Fraser Way on May 7.
In both cases, he handed over a note, demanding cash. In one incident, he implied he had a weapon. In the other, he showed a weapon in his waistband.
The same suspect was linked to other similar robberies in the Lower Mainland.
The Abbotsford Police Department (APD), the Langley RCMP, the Surrey RCMP and other agencies then began working together on the investigation.
APD spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald said the APD’s major crime unit and the Surrey RCMP’s robbery squad, aided by the APD’s crime analysis unit, were able to identify Rosch as the suspect last Wednesday (June 10).
Police began surveillance on him, as they continued to gather evidence and prepare search warrants, and were able to arrest him on Friday after his final alleged robbery.
MacDonald said police wouldn’t have been watching him at the time.
“Surveillance isn’t continual, and there are always times when the person (under surveillance) will be lost due to traffic, etc.,” he said.
MacDonald said, after Rosch’s arrest, search warrants were executed at two Abbotsford residences. Evidence including clothing, firearms and replica guns were seized.
MacDonald said the investigation into the other robberies is continuing, and more charges are anticipated.
He said Rosch’s arrest is “huge,” considering the risk to public safety when a robbery occurs, especially when a weapon is brandished.
“There’s no guarantee of how that crime is going to come off,” MacDonald said.
Rosch has an extensive criminal history, with several prior convictions for theft and break and enter, as well as resisting or obstructing a peace officer, breaching his probation and bail conditions, possession of stolen property, fraud, robbery and assault with intent to resist arrest.
His prior offences occurred in Creston, Cranbrook and Saanich, according to the provincial court database.
Rosch remains in custody and is next scheduled to appear July 3 in Surrey provincial court on the robbery charges.