A suspect has been arrested and faces 16 charges following a string of violent robberies, stabbings and collisions in three Metro Vancouver cities that sent six people to hospital.
Criminal Justice Branch communications counsel Neil MacKenzie said the Crown has now approved a total of 16 charges against Jonathon Gerald Leblanc in connection to the case, most of them related to assault, robbery or dangerous driving.
RCMP Inspector Tim Shields said the spree of violence began around 6 p.m. PT Sunday when a man was driving a car quickly on a highway and rear-ended a minivan with three people in it.
"Sending it cartwheeling and rolling down the highway," said Shields, adding the man who caused the collision ran away from the scene.
A short time later, 67-year-old Mohammed Ramzan was repeatedly punched and stabbed with a screwdriver during the next leg of the journey — a home invasion — on Deerfield Crescent, in Richmond, B.C., which backs out onto Highway 91. His wife, Nisha Ramzan, said he is in stable condition after undergoing surgery.
Ramzan said the doorbell rang and a stranger asked to use the phone. She said Ramzan gave him the phone, but when he tried to take it back, the man (who police believe was Leblanc) began hitting him. By the time Ramzan and her son made their way back to the door, her husband was on the ground.
Sister-in-law Roshni Ramzan said he had been stabbed with a screwdriver.
Leblanc allegedly then demanded Ramzan's keys and stole their car, only to get into a crash in Vancouver near Victoria Drive and 27th Avenue a short while later.
From there, he fled the scene again and allegedly tried to rob a person who was using a bank machine nearby at Kingsway and Victoria Drive.
Then, another vehicle was stolen from a family stopped at a gas station. The owner of that car received minor injuries. He was able to escape with his wife and two children, aged seven and 10, who were in the back seat, before the man, who police believe was Leblanc, drove off in their car.
'This is a very rare occurrence where we see an out-of-control and extremely violent crime spree involving three stabbings, two carjackings, a home invasion.' - RCMP Inspector Tim Shields
A few hours later, the stolen grey Honda Civic was spotted by an RCMP patrol in Surrey, B.C. The driver took off in the vehicle across an open field and was involved in a third collision near 109 Avenue and 132A Street, at which time he fled on foot.
After a long search, police dogs were able to track him down in a heavily wooded ravine.
"We are very grateful we have this individual in custody now," said Shields.
"This is a very rare occurrence where we see an out-of-control and extremely violent crime spree involving three stabbings, two carjackings, a home invasion spread out across three cities in the Lower Mainland."
Police want to remind residents to use caution when opening the door to unexpected callers, said Richmond RCMP Cnst. Veronica Fox.
"Generally speaking this is an isolated incident that doesn't occur frequently," she said.
Charges in Richmond
- Aggravated assault.
- Assault with a weapon.
Charges in Vancouver
- Assault causing bodily harm.
- Assault with a weapon.
- Robbery (second individual).
- Aggravated assault (second individual).
- Assault with a weapon (second individual).
- Assault with a weapon (third individual).
- Robbery (fourth individual).
- Assault with a weapon (fifth individual).
- Dangerous driving.
- Failure to remain at an accident scene.
- Mischief to a motor vehicle.
Charges in Surrey
- Failing to stop a motor vehicle while being pursued by police.