A White Rock man has been arrested in connection with 12 armed robberies that targeted ATM customers across the Peninsula.
Police announced Tuesday that Travis Jensen-Pickford, 23, was arrested on June 15 and charged with 12 counts of robbery with a weapon, 12 counts of using an imitation firearm in commission of an offence and 12 counts of disguise with intent.
The arrest occurred without incident at a White Rock home, on the same day that one of the 12 robberies occurred.
“In some cases, desperate individuals are actually welcoming an arrest,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet. “Our investigators believe this was the case.”
The armed robberies took place over 35 days in White Rock and Surrey, beginning on May 12. All but two of the crimes took place on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. One occurred in Newton, and another near 186 Street and Fraser Highway.
In each instance, a victim was approached by a masked man while withdrawing money from an ATM during non-banking hours. The robber’s unusual choice of disguise lead to police and the public referring to the man as the “surgical mask bandit.”
Earlier this month, in an effort to help police identify and capture the man behind the mask, the Canadian Bankers Association announced a $10,000 reward.
Paquet said it does not appear that the cash carrot played a role in the arrest.
“Not according to our investigators,” he said. “We’re still looking to see if tips from the public were key in apprehending this individual.”
If any tip is identified as playing a central role, that information will be provided to the CBA, Paquet said.
Paquet attributed the 10-day delay in announcing the arrest to police workload.
“We’ve just been really, really busy. We wanted to let the public know about this arrest earlier, but other urgent issues prevented us from doing so.”
Jensen-Pickford remains in custody and is due back in Surrey Provincial Court on July 3.