Fleeing bank robbery suspects caught after stopping at a Tim Hortons drive-thru
Police chase in Bouctouche, N.B., ends in parking lot of fast food restaurant
A man and woman allegedly fleeing a bank robbery were arrested in Bouctouche, N.B., on Monday after they stopped at a Tim Hortons drive-thru.
At least six police cars swooped in on the suspects before they had a chance to place an order.
Several thousand dollars have been recovered, the RCMP said.
A 24-year-old man and 26-year-old woman, both from Moncton, face charges.
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The entire incident unfolded in less time than it takes to brew a fresh pot of coffee, but it has been the talk of the eastern New Brunswick town and has caused a stir on social media.
"The most Canadian headline ever," David Agren posted on Twitter.
"Oh New Brunswick," tweeted Susan McKenzie.
Employees of an RBC Royal Bank in the neighbouring town of Richibucto called the RCMP shortly after 4 p.m. AT on Monday to report the robbery, Sgt. Patrick Tardif said.
They said an unarmed man, whose face was partially covered with a bandana, had entered the Main Street branch and demanded money from an employee before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash in a car being driven by a woman.
The employees provided a description of the suspects and the black getaway car.
"Fortunately, we had an officer who was pretty sharp travelling from Bouctouche to Richibucto who spotted … a vehicle matching the description travelling south on Highway 11," between Sainte-Anne-de-Kent and Bouctouche, said Tardif.
The officer made a U-turn to follow the vehicle and other officers joined the pursuit, he said.
They followed the vehicle until it took the Bouctouche exit and stopped at a Tim Hortons drive-thru in the town, located about 55 kilometres north of Moncton.
It's not clear yet why the robbery suspects pulled in there.They didn't order anything before leaving the drive-thru area, said Tardif.
They were arrested at gunpoint in the parking lot, as other vehicles drove past. The arrest was captured on video and posted on Facebook.
"Our officer felt it was a good place to stop the vehicle and proceed with the arrest of the two individuals, which he did and shortly after, other officers converged to the location," said Tardif.
"And they were able to proceed with the arrest and a safe arrest for everyone. Nobody was hurt at the bank or during the arrest, which is nice to see," he said.
He made a brief appearance in Moncton provincial court on Tuesday afternoon, sporting a black T-shirt with a skull on it.
As he was led into the courtroom by sheriff's deputies — his tattooed arms in cuffs — he blew a kiss to a young woman sitting in the front row.
The Crown objected to Sanipass's release, citing his criminal history, although no specifics were offered.
Earlier this month, Sanipass had posted on Facebook that his life was "on a different route to a better future."
"Thanks to my amazing family for all the support," he wrote on Jan. 6.
On New Year's Eve, he described 2018 as "so soon the year of freedom and family for me."
The judge ordered Sanipass be remanded in custody until his next court appearance on Feb. 6 at 9:30 a.m. to elect whether he wants to be tried by a judge and jury, or judge alone, and to enter pleas
"I'm going to call you tonight, all right?" Sanipass told the woman in the front row. "I love you baby."
"I love you," she replied in a low voice before rushing out of the courtroom.
A 26-year-old Moncton woman, whose name wasn't disclosed, was released from custody on a promise to appear in court to face charges on May 8.
The investigation continues, the RCMP said.
With files from Radio-Canada