Most bank robberies involve a knife, or threat of a gun hidden from view or a threatening note passed to a bank teller, but a would-be thief in Burnaby used a far more Hollywood approach Wednesday.
Police responded to the Vancity credit union branch on North Road just after 11: 15 a.m. after receiving a report that a robbery was in progress, said Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Brenda Gresiuk.
The suspect in the robbery had demanded money, threatened to detonate a bomb and left behind a suspicious package when he fled.
"There was a threat of explosives as a weapon presented at this incident," Gresiuk said. "We do, as a precaution, treat all these types of threats very, very seriously, so we did call out our (explosives disposal unit). . The area was evacuated."
The explosives unit detonated the package and found, thankfully, there was no bomb inside, Gresiuk said.
Meanwhile, two Vancity employees chased the fleeing suspect to a nearby warehouse, where he was tackled by warehouse employees.
"It was very dynamic," Gresiuk said. "It was something you likely would have seen on a cop show."
Gresiuk said police would not normally encourage citizens to put themselves in harm's way to stop a fleeing suspect, but, in this case, the two bank employees and warehouse employees were instrumental in seeing that the suspect got arrested.
"We always encourage the public to watch and report. That's always the safest thing to do," she said. "Those are always a personal decisions when someone wants to engage in public safety or take some sort of actionable response, as was the case with these Good Samaritans. In this case, thankfully, everything turned out well."
Gresiuk said this is the first time she has ever seen someone attempt to rob a bank this way.
"This was definitely very unusual. It's not one of the normal ploys. In most bank robberies, they want to get in and get out undetected and only take a few moments. They want to blend in," Gresiuk said. "This would definitely have to be a first for Burnaby.
"We're glad it came to a safe conclusion and there wasn't a device in the suitcase and it was just that - a prop used in the robbery."
As of Thursday afternoon, RCMP were still drafting charges for the suspect, and his name had not yet been released.