New Brunswick

RCMP sees 50% jump in armed robberies in Moncton area

There has been a 50-per-cent jump in armed robberies in the Moncton area compared to last year, according to the Codiac Regional RCMP.

Codiac RCMP statistics indicate number of armed robberies increased 50% through first 7 months of 2016

There has been a 50-per-cent jump in armed robberies in the Moncton area compared to last year, according to the Codiac Regional RCMP. (CBC)

There has been a 50-per-cent jump in armed robberies in the Moncton area compared to last year, according to the Codiac Regional RCMP.

There were 51 armed robberies reported in the first seven months of 2016 compared to 34 in the same time period in 2015, according to the Codiac RCMP.

The RCMP told Radio-Canada last week that a person has been arrested who is thought to be responsible for half of those 51 armed robberies.

That trend has continued in August 2016 as Codiac RCMP has issued news releases about five armed robberies in the month.

The RCMP's news release archives show there were two reported armed robberies in August 2015.

On Tuesday morning, there was an attempted armed robbery at a the National Bank on Mountain Road in Moncton and a robbery that afternoon at the National Bank in Cap-Pelé.

Cpl. Marco Leger couldn't say whether the two were linked as Cap Pelé is out of his jurisdiction, but he said the Codiac RCMP would be comparing notes with the South East RCMP detachment.

Leger did say that the attempted robbery in Moncton was foiled by a quick-thinking witness.

He said a witness saw two people, believed to be male, put masks on near the National Bank and alerted bank staff, who locked the doors.

When the suspects tried to enter the bank and found the door locked, they fled on foot, according to Leger.

The suspects who robbed the bank in Cap-Pelé also wore masks.

Besides these two recent robberies, Codiac RCMP, and other detachments in the southeast have issued six news releases in August about armed robberies, and police have also talked to CBC about others.

A hotel, convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies and several banks have been targeted around the city and the southeast region.

Suspects in these cases have been men wearing dark clothes and most wore masks or disguises.

They ranged in height from 5'7" and 6'4" with thin or medium builds and most spoke English

In many cases police have not revealed the weapon, but in at least two cases a firearm was used.

While some suspects did not get any loot, others have made off with cash as well as pills and cigarettes.

A customer who was present during one robbery also had her purse stolen.

There were no injuries reported during any of these incidents.

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