Canadian Bankers Association

Canadian Bankers Association

August 16, 2016 09:00 ET

Police Officers From Across the Country Win Prestigious Canadian Banks' Law Enforcement Award

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 16, 2016) - Dedication, courage, teamwork and innovative law enforcement techniques earned two individuals and two groups of police officers the Canadian Banks' Law Enforcement Award (CBLEA). Through the officers' tireless efforts and collaboration, two bank robbers and members of a large organized crime group have been arrested.

The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) will recognize fifteen police officers and honour their efforts during this evening's awards ceremony at the 111th annual Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Ottawa.

"Security is a top priority for Canadian financial institutions, which is why they work closely with police services across the country to help protect their employees and customers," said Malcolm Chivers, Director of Corporate Security at the Canadian Bankers Association. "The CBLEA is our way of recognizing outstanding police work and honouring these officers for their efforts to combat crime against Canada's banks, their employees and their customers."

Constable Robert Mitchelson and Constable Brennan Lowrie - Vancouver Police Department

Constables Robert Mitchelson and Brennan Lowrie of the Vancouver Police Department were unarmed and off-duty when they caught a bank robber in the act at a branch in Vancouver. Without hesitation or regard for their own safety, Mitchelson and Lowrie blocked the bank's exits as the suspect tried to escape. A violent struggle ensued in which Mitchelson and Lowrie worked collaboratively to contain the suspect until on-duty officers arrived.

Thanks to the courage, bravery and quick thinking of these officers, a high risk offender was captured.

Vaulter Bandit case - York Regional Police, Peel Regional Police, Toronto Police Service (Group Award)

Between 2010 and 2015, the Vaulter Bandit committed 21 bank robberies in multiple cities across the country and remained unidentified, becoming one of the most notorious bank robbers in Canadian history.

In May 2015, investigators from York, Peel and Toronto Police Services pooled their resources and, through forensic evidence and joint efforts with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, were able to identify Jeffrey Shuman. A resident of France, police worked with authorities in Europe to track his movements, leading to his arrest in Switzerland on September 15, 2015. Through a high level of cooperation and the demonstration of exemplary investigative skills, the Canadian police and their European counterparts were able to arrest one of Canada's most violent and prolific bank robbers.

Winners of the group award are: Detective Douglas Cole (York Regional Police), Detective Dave Noseworthy (York Regional Police), Detective Stephen Smith (Toronto Police Service), Detective Constable Sean Whittaker (York Regional Police), Constable Steven Daly (Peel Regional Police) and Constable Adam Demers (Peel Regional Police).

Project Springston - Halton Regional Police, Hamilton Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Group Award)

Joint fraud investigations by the Halton Regional Police, the Hamilton Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and several Canadian bank security experts with support from the Canadian Bankers Association led to the seizure of a large-scale, highly organized identity theft ring operating across Canada. Using malicious software and email phishing, the criminal organization was stealing personal information and using it to drain its victims' bank accounts.

Following raids in Montreal, Toronto and Hamilton, the police task force seized the organization's main identity theft laboratory, believed to be one of the most sophisticated in operation in Canada at the time. The multijurisdictional task force untangled a complex web of criminals, laying over 200 charges against 37 individual suspects. Thanks to their teamwork and diligence in this national investigation, the law enforcement members of Project Springston were able to identify the criminal masterminds of this multi-million dollar fraud ring.

Winners of the group award are: Detective Staff Sergeant Darren Webster (Ontario Provincial Police), retired Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant Robert Krzyzaniak now of CIBC Corporate Security, Detective Sergeant Robin McKay (Ontario Provincial Police), Sergeant Mark Clausen (Hamilton Police Service), Detective Constable Randy Smith (Ontario Provincial Police), Constable Derek DiFelice (Halton Regional Police), and Constable Francois Picard-Blais (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

About the Canadian Banks' Law Enforcement Award

Since its creation in 1972, 248 officers from across Canada have been honoured with the Canadian Banks' Law Enforcement Award for their outstanding bravery, dedication and other noteworthy achievements in combating crimes against Canada's banks. For additional information about the CBLEA, please visit www.cba.ca/award.

About the Canadian Bankers Association

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 59 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 280,000 employees. The CBA advocates for effective public policies that contribute to a sound, successful banking system that benefits Canadians and Canada's economy. The Association also promotes financial literacy to help Canadians make informed financial decisions and works with banks and law enforcement to help protect customers against financial crime and promote fraud awareness. www.cba.ca

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Contact Information

  • Maura Drew-Lytle
    Director, Media Relations and Communications
    Canadian Bankers Association
    416-362-6093, ext. 338
    Cell: 416-918-2777
    MDrew-Lytle@cba.ca