Police arrest Shuswap man linked to Edmonton armed robbery, explosion

Salmon Arm RCMP assist investigation with search of Grandview Bench Road property

A 38-year-old Salmon Arm man has been arrested and charged in connection with two armed robberies and an explosion that injured two security guards in Edmonton.

Edmonton police say Justin Byron was arrested on March 4 at Edmonton International Airport following an ongoing investigation by Edmonton Police Service robbery section detectives and tactical members.

Byron is facing multiple charges including two charges of robbery with firearm, two charges of attempted robbery, four charges of using an explosive device, two charges of possession of an explosive material, four charges of aggravated assault and two charges of disguise with intent.

Byron is scheduled to appear in Edmonton court on Friday, March 15.

The arrest is linked to the Salmon Arm RCMP’s recent investigation of a rural Grandview Bench Road property.

“This arrest came about as a result of some excellent police work from the EPS Robbery Section and many areas within our police service,” said Edmonton Staff Sgt. Rob Mills.

“We’re grateful to our RCMP law enforcement partners in Salmon Arm, B.C. who also played a key role in bringing our investigation to a successful conclusion.

Read more: Update: Police investigation not related to missing persons

Read more: Update: Police continue investigation at rural Shuswap property

“We believe the accused was planning another incident, and we’re happy that we prevented another attack.”

Police say on Sept. 19, 2018, at approximately 2:35 a.m., two armoured guards were making their deliveries in an armoured vehicle at an Edmonton financial institution.

As the first employee entered the vestibule, an explosion occurred, disorientating both employees, who then drew their firearms. The two armoured car guards were uninjured, and no money was lost during the attack.

On Dec. 13, 2018, at 2 a.m., a second incident occurred at another Edmonton financial institution.

Again, two armoured guards walked into the vestibule of the bank when an explosion detonated, knocking one of the employees to the ground.

The second employee retreated from the bank for cover, when a second explosion occurred.

The male suspect is alleged to have entered the vestibule, grabbed the deposit bag and ran to a pick-up truck parked nearby.

The armed guards were treated and transported to hospital for non-life-threating injuries.

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