Edmonton police charge robbery suspect in case involving explosives

Edmonton police have charged a British Columbia man after an investigation into two armoured guard robberies in 2018 that involved explosive devices.

In December, two guards were injured during an early morning holdup at a Scotiabank branch.

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Police say the guards had walked into the vestibule of the bank when there were two explosions. A man then ran into the area, grabbed a deposit bag and took off in a truck.

The man and a woman employed by GardaWorld suffered head and facial injuries.

Staff Sgt. Rob Mills said one of the guards has some hearing loss and the other has not returned to work.

The other robbery on Sept. 19 took place at an RBC branch. An improvised explosive device went off inside the vestibule as two guards arrived. They weren't seriously hurt and no money was stolen.

Justin Byron, of Salmon Arm, B.C., is charged with robbery with a firearm, attempted robbery, using an explosive device, aggravated assault and other offences.

Mills alleged that Byron was planning more robberies.

"Those attacks would have placed the armoured guard employees at risk and we believe his arrest has prevented that next attack," Mills said Tuesday.

Mills said he couldn't reveal other details of the robberies or the explosive devices used.

Byron is to appear in court on Friday.

© Copyright Humboldt Journal

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