Canada Crime spree: 15-year-old accused of robbing 10 Toronto banks in two months

08:05  12 october  2017
08:05  12 october  2017 Source:   National Post

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TORONTO — A 15 - year - old boy allegedly robbed 10 Toronto banks in less than two months , with a 30- year - old man accused of being his getaway driver, police said on Wednesday. Toronto Police said the boy routinely wore a disguise — in at least one case it was a hoodie and sunglasses

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bank-1: The TD Canada Trust branch in west-end Toronto where a 15-year-old boy's alleged robbery spree came to an end on Friday. © Google Street View The TD Canada Trust branch in west-end Toronto where a 15-year-old boy's alleged robbery spree came to an end on Friday.

TORONTO — A 15-year-old boy allegedly robbed 10 Toronto banks in less than two months, with a 30-year-old man accused of being his getaway driver, police said on Wednesday.

Toronto Police said the boy routinely wore a disguise — in at least one case it was a hoodie and sunglasses — and walked into banks in the city’s west end with a note to inform the teller that he had a gun and wanted money. Meantime, a 30-year-old man waited for the boy in a car outside, police said.

At 11:40 a.m. on Friday, the pair allegedly robbed a bank near St. Clair Avenue and Jane Street. An hour later, they hit a TD branch, seven kilometres away, at Lake Shore Boulevard and Mimico Avenue. The branch manager at the bank confirmed there was a robbery, but wouldn’t talk about the specifics.

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Police arrived in the middle of the robbery and arrested the boy while he was still in the bank, Const. Caroline de Kloet, a police spokeswoman, said.

“It seems like nobody got injured which is a good thing,” she said.

Outside, officers found the 30-year-old man in a car. The man allegedly fled in the vehicle and police followed.

Acting Insp. Domenic Di Passa told the Toronto Sun that the man eventually “bailed out and took off on foot, but he was caught after a brief foot chase.”

Leonardo Peralta of North York is charged with 10 counts of robbery and one count of dangerous driving.

The boy, also from North York, faces 10 robbery charges and 10 charges for wearing a disguise with intent. The boy could not be identified because of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

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While police would not comment on the relationship between the two accused, the fact that investigators released the 30-year-old’s name suggests the two were not related. Had they been family, police wouldn’t identify the man because it would risk identifying the minor.

Asked if police were concerned that the boy may have been coerced into committing the robberies, Const. de Kloet said she couldn’t “make any allegations like that.”

“I mean, what it boils down to — correct me if I’m wrong — but a Grade 10 student should know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong,” she said.

Peralta appeared in a north Toronto court on Wednesday morning. He will remain in custody until his appearance on Nov. 2.

In January 2008, a 20-year-old man identified as Leonardo Peralta was convicted in a spree of nine robberies in Ottawa and Toronto in a month — three of which he carried out in under 40 minutes, the Ottawa Citizen reported. He stole more than $16,000 in the series of robberies in August, 2007. When he was arrested, he was covered in dye from an exploding dye pack that a teller planted in a bag of cash.

Justice Peter Griffiths called Peralta “an urban terrorist” who frightened bank tellers with bluffs he had a weapon or a bomb, all to fund his drug habit.

Peralta told the judge he had travelled to Argentina to meet his biological father — a man who turned out to be a drug addict who stole to fuel his habit. Peralta himself had been an addict since he was 14, and was remorseful about following his father’s example, the Citizen reported. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Insp. Di Passa told the Sun that Peralta likely “realized if he walked into a bank we were going to recognize him from the security video because we’ve had contact with him in the past.”

National Post, with files from the Canadian Press

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