'The Vaulter,' suspect in string of bank robberies, arrested in Geneva
Police say suspect stole from 21 Canadian banks over the last 5 years
York Regional Police have identified "Canada's most notorious bank robber" who was arrested in Geneva Tuesday.
Jeffrey James Shuman, 53, nicknamed "The Vaulter" because of his ability to hop over counters to rob banks, had been sought under an international arrest warrant issued by Canada in connection with 21 bank robberies over the last five years.
Police said they believe Shuman had been living in France before he was arrested in Switzerland.
Geneva police spokesman Jean-Philippe Brandt said Wednesday that the 53-year-old suspect was intercepted by plainclothes police while he was driving a compact car on a Geneva street on Tuesday, and taken into custody without incident.
Police in Canada have said the robber first struck in York Region in February 2010 and hit banks in Mississauga, Hamilton, Vaughan, Toronto and Ottawa, as well as some in Calgary.
A spokesman with York Regional Police said Shuman would only be formally charged once he was extradited to Canada. Those charges are expected to be robbery and firearms related, Const. Andy Pattenden said.
"We've described him as Canada's most notorious bank robber," said Pattenden. "It's been an ongoing, very lengthy investigation involving numerous police services."
Police had warned that Shuman was considered armed and dangerous, and that he worked alone and was believed to carry a police scanner and scout locations well before striking.
The Canadian Bankers Association, which had offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to Shuman's arrest, welcomed the news Wednesday.
It said it would issue the reward only if Shuman was convicted and if police determined that any information they received was key to the arrest and conviction.
"We commend the police forces in Canada and abroad for their ongoing work to apprehend this individual," said Malcolm Chivers, director of corporate security at the association. "This is proof once again that, if you rob a bank, you will be caught."