Six men responsible for almost 90 bank robberies have been arrested, Vancouver police said yesterday, as they launched a public campaign promoting stiffer sentences.
The announcement came during a press conference where police called Vancouver the bank robbery capital of North America. They have seen a 125 per cent increase in heists over the same period last year.
Sgt. Les Yeo said chronic offenders are to blame and that the majority of robberies are committed to fund drug habits.
Toronto has five robberies per 100,000 population, while Vancouver has 30 per 100,000.
To alleviate the problem, officers will be distributing small, red coin purses with the words “Get Caught” on them among addicts in the Downtown Eastside.
Doug LePard, deputy chief, Investigation Division, had a simple message to would-be thieves: “Bank robbers get caught. They will go to jail.”