Three teenagers have been arrested after a violent Markham bank robbery on Wednesday, February 19. A 16-year-old, a 15-year-old, and a 13-year-old, including one teen from Mississauga, have been charged with a variety of serious offences. Police say there is evidence suggesting they may be linked to other recent thefts.
This article contains graphic content that may not be suitable for some readers. This article contains a description of serious violence involving minors.
On Wednesday night, police reported to an RBC location on Markham Road at around 8 p.m. There, they found that three suspects had arrived in a vehicle and entered, armed with knives and firearms.
The York Regional Police release states the trio demanded cash from the safe and two employees were stabbed in the incident. Two others were kicked in the face and all four victims were sent to hospital with injuries, though none are life-threatening.
A video posted by CP24 on Thursday, February 20, shows the early moments of the robbery.
In the footage, three people can be seen hurriedly exiting a vehicle parked directly outside the bank. They burst through the doors and enter the building.
They were ultimately apprehended after officers and police dogs tracked them to an under-construction house where they were hiding.
Police say the vehicle in which they arrived had been stolen on February 10 during a "violent carjacking" in Toronto.
Const. Laura Nicolle of YRP told CTV News: “They pulled up in a vehicle and this vehicle has now been confirmed to be stolen. It was stolen during a violent carjacking incident where the victim was also stabbed in Toronto."
And the release specifies that "evidence has been obtained connecting these suspects to additional robberies throughout the Greater Toronto Area."
Nicolle added to CTV: “We’ve seen a very significant increase in robberies like this over the last few months. We’ve had more robberies in only two months of 2020 than we’ve had in an entire year in the past, so our highest number for a full year was 17 and we’re close to 20 robberies at this point.”
The officer added to Narcity in an email: "It is rare to see suspects as young as 13 in cases like these but it does occur."
One of the charged teens is from Mississauga, and the other two are credited as having no fixed address.
For now, they are all charged with a wide range of serious offences.
Those include robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition, and possession of property obtained by crime.
The mayor of Markham, Frank Scarpitti, told CP24: "It is a very brazen approach that these three individuals came in and started a violent attack on the employees.
"It is one more serious incident that underscores that serious action, immediate action needs to be taken on gun violence."
Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police Hold-Up Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6630, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.