A man who allegedly called a Vancouver TV news station to brag that he was robbing banks and couldn’t be caught has been arrested and charged with 11 counts of robbery, police said yesterday.
Paul Michael Bennett, who police referred to as a “prolific serial bank robber,” was arrested in Vancouver on Aug. 21, and charged with a string of robberies in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby and North Vancouver.
Acting Sgt. Dean Wells with the Vancouver Police Department’s robbery and assault unit said investigators distributed a media release on Aug. 17, to alert the public to a series of robberies that began on July 29.
“After the media release, Bennett phoned one of the media outlets and bragged about being the person that was advertised as wanted for the bank robberies,” Wells said.
He said Bennett allegedly passed tellers a note demanding money — often indicating he had a gun — and used stolen vehicles to get around.
In some cases the suspect wore a wig, sunglasses, hat and fake mustache.
“His appearance (was) altered in most of the robberies … and his high mobility rate made it difficult to locate him,” Wells said.
Wells was on holiday when Bennett was caught, and said it was “a good feeling” to come back and learn he was in custody.
There have been 61 robberies in Vancouver so far this year, 56 of which have been solved.