The so-called “surgical mask bandit” has been sentenced to five years, and will spend another three years in jail when time served is taken into account.
Travis Jensen-Pickford robbed 12 people at ATM bank machines in a four-week spree during May and June in 2013.
He was dubbed by police as the “surgical mask bandit” for his unique face covering. He also used a fake pistol during the robberies.
In his sentencing, Judge Peder Gulbransen said some victims weren’t taken by the imitation weapon, but some were severely traumatized by the robberies.
In a victim impact statement, one woman wrote she felt “terrorized” after being robbed by a man in a surgical mask at a White Rock bank machine more than two years ago. Another woman wrote that she refuses to go to an ATM any more, and has since switched banks.
The statements were read Thursday in Surrey Provincial Court, where Jensen-Pickford, now 25, was being sentenced for 12 counts of robbery and one count of carrying out the offences with a fake gun.
He stood in the prisoner’s box Thursday as he listened to Crown prosecutor Jennifer Lopes detail his crimes before Judge Peder Gulbransen.
Lopes listed how Jensen-Pickford followed people into ATM areas at banks and demanded money, usually between $40 to $500.
Some of the robberies were unsuccessful.
In one instance, a man saw he had a fake weapon, grabbed it and punched Jensen-Pickford in the head. The robber fled.
In another case, a woman saw it was a toy gun and she ran. The accused ran the other way.
Lopes said the crimes were aggravated by their violent nature, the effect on individuals and the community, his use of a disguise and the fact there were 12 robberies.
She said mitigating factors included the fact he pleaded guilty, showed remorse, was addicted to drugs and it was a relatively short crime spree. Lopes recommended a jail sentence of five to six years.
Jensen-Pickford’s lawyer, Justin Myers, argued his client should be considered unique to those cases presented by Lopes as in most of her cases, the accused had prior convictions which Jensen-Pickford has not.
He also said his client was doing quite well and getting treatment and taking courses in prison. He also said there were contributing factors to the crimes, including the loss of Jensen-Pickford’s girlfriend – the mother of his child.
Myers said the punishment has already been increased as he lost his mother, whose funeral he was unable to attend while he was incarcerated. Jensen-Pickford wiped his eyes while listening to that account.
Myers asked the judge to consider three years.
Jensen-Pickford has already served 261 days in jail, and with time and a half credit, it will likely take 13 months off of his time left to serve.
Gulbransen agreed with many of the aggravating and mitigating factors surrounding the crime, but said they weren’t enough to cause someone to act out so violently.
The judge felt Jensen-Pickford could still present a danger to the public.
In giving him the five year sentence – four for the robberies and one for the use of an imitation weapon – he reduced his remaining time served by 13 months.