A man with a lengthy criminal past dating back to the 1970s has been arrested again in connection with two armed robberies.
Gerald Joseph Pilon, 60, was charged with holding up two financial institutions on Friday in Winnipeg.
In a robbery around noon in a bank on Plessis Road, a man said he had a gun but never showed a firearm. In a robbery at 6:30 p.m. at a business on Regent Avenue, a man used a knife to steal cash.
"Fortunately in these two bank robberies there was nobody injured," said Const. Tammy Skrabek, a Winnipeg police public information officer. "Nonetheless, it's traumatizing for the people at the bank to be held up."
Pilon has a total of 51 prior criminal convictions, all relating to theft or violence, Winnipeg police said. The offences took place in communities in several provinces: Winnipeg, Burnaby and Chilliwack in B.C., Saskatchewan and Quebec.
Pilon's first conviction was at age 16 in 1973, when he was found guilty of breaking and entering. In 1979, Pilon was first found guilty of armed robbery.
"If you looked at his criminal record, he's convicted of an offence, sentenced to two years, and upon his release, he's reconvicted within a year of another offence," said Skrabek.
She said the fact Pilon has dozens of convictions on his record is not terribly unusual — what is strange is that his pattern of violence continues well into his middle age.
"Even career criminals, at some point, they step back a little bit." - Const. Tammy Skrabek, Winnipeg Police Service
"I think that's the troubling aspect of this," she said. "Even career criminals, at some point, they step back a little bit."
Pilon was convicted of two armed robberies in 2010 and was sentenced to four years in prison, Skrabek said.
Pilon is currently in police custody.