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Christmas ATM robbery netted $460K in Surrey, Delta, police confirm

Court documents had previously suggested bank branches robbed were in Langley
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 file photo, an armored truck of Brinks Diamond an Jewelry Services arrives at the cargo section of Brussels international airport. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)

A five-bank Christmas day heist that’s now the subject of civil action took place in Surrey and Delta, not Langley, despite what previous court documents have said.

Surrey RCMP confirmed the Dec. 25, 2016 robberies took place at four bank branches in Surrey and one in Delta.

According to filings with BC Supreme Court, the robberies took place at five bank branches “in the Langley area” and involved a gang of four people, some of them masked, who opened and emptied ATMs after hours.

They allegedly made off with more than $463,000 in cash from the five bank branches.

Spokesperson Cpl. Vanessa Munn said the Surrey RCMP investigation into the robberies has concluded, and confirmed that no charges were laid against anyone.

To her knowledge, none of the money was recovered, Munn said.

The robbery was not publicly announced at the time, and the details about the crime have come from court filings during an arbitration between the armoured car company Brinks, and a former employee that Brinks believes was the inside man on the robberies.

All the bank branches that were robbed were served by Brinks staff who refilled the ATMs there with cash on a regular basis.

Brinks filed a union grievance against the alleged robber – and fired him – after a two-year internal investigation. The grievance went to arbitration.

READ MORE: Christmas Day heist in Langley netted almost $500,000, court filing reveals

READ MORE: Copied keys, stolen codes, and masks: how a five-bank heist in Langley went down

When the Unifor Local 114 petitioned the BC Supreme Court over an issue related to the arbitration, the details of the crime were spelled out in public documents.

During the robbery, thieves wearing flesh-tone masks and winter clothing entered the branches at night, and used Brinks’ ATM combinations to open the machines.

They took out most of the money, but left just enough that the ATMs would still operate normally for a while, thus avoiding setting off automatic alerts when the cash ran out.

The thieves also appeared to be “intimately familiar with the layout of the branches,” and used a cloned Mas Hamilton key in the robbery.

A police investigation later seized the phone from the employee suspected of being involved – referred to as “the grievor” in court documents – and discovered photos of alarm codes and master keys on his phone.

“There was no legitimate reason for the grievor to have these pictures in his possession,” Brinks alleges.

The only reason to have such pictures would be to create copies of the master keys for the robbery, the company claims.

Brinks is demanding the return of the stolen $463,000, plus interest, in its grievance. In turn, the employee has launched a grievance against Brinks for wrongful termination.

The union had argued in court that the arbitrator didn’t have jurisdiction over the Brinks grievance, because the loss of funds wasn’t suffered by Brinks, but by another company, the bank.

However, a BC Supreme Court judge ruled that Brinks was able to go after the money. As a self-insured firm, Brinks had paid back the entire stolen amount to the bank in the days after the heist.

None of the claims made about the robbery in the B.C. Supreme Court ruling have been tested in court.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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