A 48-year-old man has been sentenced to 15 years behind bars for his role in a jewelry store robbery in Laval five years ago.

In 2012, two suspects entered a Birks in Carrefour Laval store with firearms, threatened staff and got away with more than $600,000 in jewelry, according to Const. Evelyne Boudreau of the Laval police.

Investigators realized that heist was similar to one in Saint-Bruno 10 years earlier, and that's where the investigation started, Boudreau said.

After a six-month investigation, Dimitrios Batzakis was arrested in 2014 in connection with robberies at Birks stores in Saint-Bruno and Carrefour Laval.

He was to go on five separate trials starting in May for charges related to the robberies.

Batzakis was found not guilty of charges related to the Saint-Bruno heist. Just before a trial for his part in the Laval Birks robbery was to begin, Batzakis announced he would plead guilty to armed robbery and possession of two prohibited weapons.

Both the defence and prosecution agreed to cancel the other trials. His sentence was handed down yesterday by Quebec Superior Court Justice James L. Brunton at the Laval courthouse.

Batzakis has a lengthy criminal record for similar crimes, Boudreau said, and those priors played a role in the sentence.

Police are asking anyone who may have any information about crimes Batzakis was involved in to contact them at 450-662‑4636 or 911 and mentioned file number LVL‑120718-031.